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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
New attempt to woo VNU investors
VNU logo
The VNU board has backed the takeover
The private equity group trying to buy Dutch media giant VNU has upped its bid in an attempt to win over shareholders.

The consortium has raised its offer from about 7.5bn euros (5.1bn) to 8.7bn euros, and lowered the threshold needed to win approval from 95 to 80%.

The new offer has the support of fund manager Templeton Global Advisors, which has a 14.7% stake in VNU.

VNU's board accepted the consortium's previous offer back in March, but investors have been harder to convince.

Change of plan

The consortium, which includes Carlyle Group and Blackstone Group, has extended the offer period for its new deal until 19 May.

The revised bid is worth 29.50 euros per share, and came after VNU's stock closed at 27.76 euros on Thursday.

Any deal would represent a turnaround for VNU, which planned to double in size by buying healthcare data provider IMS last year.

Shareholders rejected the $6.8bn (5.7bn euro) bid made in November for IMS, forcing the company to consider other options.

VNU is the world's largest market research company with 38,000 employees, but is best known for its business magazine titles, including Computing, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter.

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