WPP today announced that is selling 60% of Kantar to Bain Capital Private Equity. Investment by Bain Capital Private Equity values Kantar at c.$4.0bn.
The sell is still dependent on WPP’s shareholders approval, and
on the antitrust approvals from regulators in the European Union, the United States, Brazil, China, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, South Africa and Mexico.
“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,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP, commenting the Kantar sale.
There were 4 buyers shortlisted for the Kantar sale: Bain Capital, Apollo, and Platinum, plus a fourth undisclosed bidder. The auction to sell Kantar started in April, this year.
WPP’s board decided that the best way to unlock Kantar’s potential and maximize shareholder value was with a strategic or financial partner.
Kantar is a global data, research, consulting and analytics business. Kantar employs 30,000 persons worldwide. Kantar is being allowed by walled gardens, like Facebook and Youtube, to do independent measurement for brands. Kantar was launched in 1992 by WPP and is active in 100 countries.
“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 Luca Bassi, Managing Director at Bain Capital Private Equity.
The Kantar Group will be carved out of the wider WPP group. WPP says It is expected the split will take place in a number of stages, and concluded in 2020.