Report: WPP's Sorrell Makes A New Run, Bids To Acquire Canada's Nurun

Acquisitive WPP chief Martin Sorrell is on the prowl again, and this time he's making a play for Nurun Inc., one of Canada's leading online ad services companies. Sorrell has submitted a written offer to Quebecor Media, which controls Nurun, to acquire the interactive marketing services company in a cash deal valued at $5.25 a share, Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail reported this morning.

It was unclear at presstime, exactly how big an acquisition Nurun would be, but Quebecor reportedly had been seeking to privatize the company offering $4.75 for the 42% of shares in the company that it does not already own.

The newspaper report characterized Sorrell's bid as facing "long odds" despite its higher share value, because Quebecor may already have locked up enough commitments from leading independent shareholders to block WPP's overture.

Montreal-based Nurun, which describes itself as a "global interactive marketing agency" operating on three continents, including ant farm interactive in the U.S., China Interactive in China and Crazy Labs in Spain, re-branded all of its operations under the Nurun banner in December 2007. Clients include Groupe DANONE, AT&T, Louis Vuitton, Thales, Pfizer, Home Depot, Pleasant Holidays, L'Oréal, Renault, Microsoft, AutoTrader.com, Equifax, Telecom Italia and the Government of Quebec.

The move comes is the first big digital media play for Sorrell since WPP acquired 24/7 Real Media in July 2007 for $649 million.

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