NEWS1 July 2019

WPP sells stake in Chime

Financials M&A News UK

UK – Communications group WPP has sold its 25% share in Chime Group Holdings to the majority shareholder, Providence, for £54.4m.

Mark Read

In a statement WPP said the sale is in line with its new strategy, instigated by its CEO Mark Read, to focus on its main areas of business and simplify its operations by disposing of non-core assets.

WPP and Providence paid £374m for Chime in 2015, which was co-founded by Tim Bell in 1989.

Chime is the owner of Watermelon Research, formerly the Insight and Engagement Division (CIE).

This disposal values Chime at £218m with WPP making £54.4m plus “potential additional amounts” based on the future value of the company.

WPP is merging advertising agencies VML and Young & Rubicam as well as Wunderman and J Walter Thompson and is in the process of selling Kantar.