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Despite increasing its bid to £996 million ($1.938 billion) from £948 million ($1.844 billion), WPP Group has been rejected a second time by audience measurement firm Taylor Nelson Sofres, The Guardian reported. TNS’ chairman Donald Brydon said that the board did not hesitate to reject WPP’s revised offer even though it inched closer to the £1 billion mark, saying it still “substantially undervalues the company even on a standalone basis.”
WPP made its first overture to TNS earlier this month, after it announced a “nil-premium” merger with German peer GfK. The merger would form the world’s second-largest market research business after Nielsen. Analysts believe WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell acted to prevent the combination and the addition of other shareholders could block him from taking at least a controlling stake in the UK audience measurement company. Meanwhile, TNS plans to go ahead with the matchup, arguing that the addition of GfK would add significant value to TNS shareholders.