The US-based Grey Global, which has the MediaCom planning and buying agency and Grey London creative wing under its belt, turned rival bidder, French media group Havas, which refused to up its undisclosed offer tabled last week.
The deal gives the WPP access to a new raft of high profile advertisers in the Grey group such as Procter & Gamble, the world’s biggest spender and a client of Grey’s for 40 years, 3M, Adobe, JPMorgan Chase, Hasbro, Mars and Warner Bros.
Sir Martin Sorrell, group chief executive of WPP, said: “In addition to broadening our relationship with a number of our leading clients, Grey will bring access to new clients, strengthen our activities in advertising, media investment management, public relations, healthcare and direct and interactive.
“Additionally, Grey's broad geographic spread will further strengthen WPP's market position. We believe that WPP will offer Grey's clients and its people significant enhanced opportunities.”
Ed Meyer, Grey’s US-based chairman, who’s retirement has fuelled the merger, added: "We are pleased to join WPP, one of the world's leading advertising and communications firms and a company we have long respected, because of our shared values and strong commitment to superior client service.”
"Grey's greatest asset is its people, and while the ownership structure will change, our day-to-day business relationship with our clients will remain unchanged and our commitment to do great work will continue to be our passion.
“By agreeing to combine with WPP, our clients will be able to access a broader array of global services and tools, and our employees can expand their careers in exciting directions."