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How Bain Capital kept its nerve in battle for Japan's ADK

US private equity group played shrewd game to see off WPP challenge

The question now is whether ADK can grow under Bain's wing.

TOKYO -- U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital held its nerve during the tortuous progress of its friendly tender offer for Japanese advertising agency Asatsu-DK, which was sealed on Thursday, even as ADK executives fretted that the deal could founder.

The buyout bid, backed by ADK's management, was opposed by U.K. media group WPP, the biggest shareholder in the Tokyo-based company, with 25%. At stake was whether the benchmark for the offer's success, set at 50% of ADK stock, would be cleared.

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