After three-months of friendly attempts to acquire U.K. marketing research giant TNS, WPP Group this morning mounted a hostile $2.13 billion offer that, if accepted by shareholders, would block a
friendly merger agreement between TNS and Germany's GfK. "Although our offer may be characterized by some as a 'hostile bid,' we believe that it is in no way hostile to TNS share owners nor to TNS'
clients and people," WPP Chairman-CEO Martin Sorrell said in a statement. "In fact, WPP believes it is more committed to maintaining the TNS brand than GfK. The offer from WPP is a superior
alternative to what is, in effect, a 'nil-premium' reverse takeover of TNS by GfK and a 'merger of unequals'. We remain willing, at the shortest of notice, to meet with the board of TNS."