WPP shareholders set for billion pound windfall as the advertising giant strikes a deal to sell Kantar data unit to US investors
- WPP has pledged to return a chunk of the £2.5bn proceeds to shareholders
- Bain Capital will become the majority owner of £3.2bn Kantar business
FTSE 100 advertising firm WPP has revealed a plan to sell a stake in its data subsidiary Kantar to US private equity firm Bain Capital.
If completed the deal will trigger a £1billion windfall for investors as the company has pledged to return a sizable chunk of the £2.5billion proceeds to shareholders. The rest of the proceeds will be used to reduce WPP’s debt.
The American firm will become the majority owner of Kantar with around 60 per cent of the £3.2billion business.
WPP is to sell a stake in its data subsidiary Kantar to US private equity firm Bain Capital
WPP chief executive Mark Read said: ‘This transaction creates value for WPP shareholders and further simplifies our company.
With a much stronger balance sheet and a return of approximately 8% of our current market value to shareholders planned, we are making good progress with our transformation.’
It is the latest disposal announced by the advertising and media giant, coming less than two weeks after the sale of its 25 per cent stake in sports marketing agency Chime.
WPP also offloaded a majority stake in its post-production business The Farm, which worked on hits including ITV’s Downton Abbey.
WPP parted ways with its long-time chief executive Martin Sorrell last year
Since the departure of former boss and founder Sir Martin Sorrell last year, the company’s new management has vowed to sell off non-core divisions.
Kantar has more than 30,000 employees globally.