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Herz family to back TNS takeover bid

It has been reported that Germany’s Herz family is to provide financial backing for GfK, Germany’s biggest market-research company, in a possible bid for UK rival Taylor Nelson Sofres Plc.

The Financial Times said that people familiar with the matter confirmed that Gunter Herz was backing GfK's all-cash bid but that “discussions are ongoing with other sources of finance, likely to be other wealthy German families, to fund a bid valuing TNS at more than €1.4 billion.”

Gunter Herz and his sister Daniela previously held stakes in Tchibo, the coffee and retail chain their father founded, along with their three brothers and their mother. However, after a family feud they sold their 40% share in the company to the rest of the family for €4 billion.

On leaving the family business, the brother and sister set up private equity group Mayfair through which they are planning to help finance the TNS bid. In 2005, Mayfair bought a controlling stake sports brand Puma. In 2007, this stake was sold to family-owned luxury retailer PPR for €1.4 billion.

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