The proposed 6 billion-euro marriage between healthcare data company IMS and VNU could be called off in the face of fierce opposition from shareholders.

IMS and VNU, a Dutch company specialising in publishing and market research, announced their intention to tie the knot in July [[11/07/05e]], but were promptly greeted with a shareholder revolt that threatened to unravel the deal. In a brief statement, VNU now says it is in a round of negotiations with IMS to discuss ‘various possible alternatives, including a revised merger agreement as well as termination of the agreement’ [[27/10/05d]].

A group of rebel shareholders holding around 48% of VNU have already held talks with the Dutch company and insist that the offer for IMS is too high.