NEWS16 August 2019

WPP AUNZ closes Kantar businesses sale

Asia Pacific M&A Media News

AUSTRALIA – WPP AUNZ has agreed to sell its Kantar businesses in Australia and New Zealand, as part of WPP’s agreement to sell 60% of Kantar to Bain Capital.

The deal includes all Kantar agencies in Australia and New Zealand, Colmar Brunton, Lightspeed and The Online Research Unit.

WPP is WPP AUNZ’s majority shareholder. 

Robert Mactier, chairman of WPP AUNZ, said: “Subsequent to the announcement by WPP plc that it has entered into an agreement to sell a 60% stake in the global Kantar business, a committee of independent WPP AUNZ board directors has determined that to participate in the global transaction is an attractive strategic and financial outcome for the company and our shareholders.

“As a result, WPP AUNZ has now agreed to sell 100% of its interests in the Kantar businesses in Australia and New Zealand as part of the global transaction.”

The transaction values Kantar at $168m. Proceeds to WPP AUNZ on completion, after transaction costs, are expected to be around $150m. 

The sale will reduce debt and allow WPP AUNZ to return funds to shareholders through dividends or capital management.

John Steedman, interim chief executive of WPP AUNZ, said: “We expect to retain a close relationship with Kantar and work together, as we do now, to create better integrated solutions for our clients, particularly as our major shareholder, WPP plc, will continue to own 40% of the global Kantar business.”