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Grey Shareholders Approve Company's Sale to WPP

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NEW YORK Grey Global Group shareholders today okayed the sale of the independent company to WPP Group during a meeting held here at Goldman Sachs, which served as an advisor on the deal.

A Grey representative said "a couple dozen" shareholders attended but declined to disclose the final vote. Approval had been expected.

WPP's acquisition of Grey is slated to close on March 7 [Adweek Online, Feb. 18].

In September, London-based WPP agreed to acquire New York-based Grey in a deal valued at approximately $1.7 billion in cash and stock.

The union brings Procter & Gamble, Grey's largest client, into the same holding company as Unilever, which is handled by WPP shops Ogilvy, JWT and Young & Rubicam.

Grey's other clients include J.M. Smucker, Frontier Airlines, Nokia, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and BellSouth.

Grey CEO and chairman Ed Meyer has signed an employment contract with WPP that runs through 2006.