WPP sells 60 per cent stake in Kantar to Bain Capital

15 Jul,2019

By A Correspondent


WPP has entered into an agreement to sell 60 per cent of Kantar, its global data, research, consulting and analytics business, to private equity major Bain Capital. The proposed transaction values the whole of Kantar at a headline enterprise value of $4.0bn.


The WPP Board believes that the proposed transaction will allow Kantar to strengthen its industry-leading position through the combined expertise and resources of Bain Capital and WPP. It also crystallises significant value for WPP’s shareholders, while giving them continued exposure to an attractive business with the potential for further value realisation in the future.


The transaction values 100 per cent of Kantar at $4bn. The equity value after expected completion adjustments is $3.7bn. After transaction costs, tax and WPP’s continuing investment of $0.4bn to own 40 per cent of the equity in Kantar, net cash proceeds to WPP are expected to be $3.1bn. The consideration is payable in cash. WPP may receive additional consideration over the next three years in respect of certain contingent liabilities, in the event that such liabilities are lower than estimated. Additionally, WPP may receive certain other payments during the life of its partnership with Bain Capital.


Said Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP: “Kantar is a great business and we look forward to working with Bain Capital to unlock its full potential. As a strategic partner and shareholder in Kantar, WPP will continue to benefit from its future growth while our clients continue to benefit from its services and capabilities. I would like to thank Eric Salama, his team and everyone at Kantar for their tremendous contribution to WPP – a contribution that will continue as we develop the business together. This transaction creates value for WPP shareholders and further simplifies our company. With a much stronger balance sheet and a return of approximately 8 per cent of our current market value to shareholders planned, we are making good progress with our transformation.”


Added Luca Bassi, a Managing Director at Bain Capital Private Equity: “Kantar is a market leader in many areas and we are excited to be partnering with its management team and WPP to build on this remarkable platform for growth. We see many opportunities for expansion and will invest in technology to expand the company’s capabilities and reinforce its global leading position.”


Said Eric Salama, CEO, Kantar: “Our new ownership structure presents a great opportunity for Kantar, our employees and our clients. In Bain Capital we have a partner who shares our ambition, brings relevant expertise and – with WPP – can help us accelerate our growth and impact for clients. We are focused on delivering ‘human understanding at scale and speed’ and the ‘best of Kantar’ more consistently. We will do so by investing more in talent and by becoming a more technology-driven solutions provider.”



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