NEWS18 June 2019

Kantar auction ‘energising’, says Salama

Europe Media News UK

UK & FRANCE – Kantar’s chief executive Eric Salama has said the company is "excited" by the opportunities its impending sale could bring.

Eric Salama_crop

WPP announced its plans to sell a majority stake in Kantar last year as part of broader efforts to improve its balance sheet and streamline operations.

During an interview at Cannes Lions, Salama (pictured) told CNBC he did not know who the end buyer would be, but described the sale as an “energising process”.

He said: “There’s a couple of buyers who’ve been incredibly engaged – we’ve spent a ton of time with them, and have a really good sense of what life would be like with them as partners and shareholders.

“There’s a lot we could do in that set-up that we couldn’t do within WPP, and we’re all excited about it.”

WPP is looking to retain a stake in the research business, with previous reports suggesting the sale could fetch up to £3.5bn.

Salama also dismissed the suggestion that Kantar’s price tag has been an issue for potential buyers, saying: “We’ve found everyone really energised and excited about the asset. There is a hunger for data. Every single advertiser wants to build a data-driven, insight-driven marketing platform. From that point of view, we’re in a great space – there’s a huge demand for what we do.”

Multiple companies were put through to a second round of bids in May, with WPP looking to finalise the partial sale in late June. The company said the sale is progressing in line with its expectations in its recent AGM statement.