WPP sells 60% of market research giant Kantar to Bain, valuing Kantar at $4B

Some M&A is afoot in the world of market research and analysis, underscoring just how much of our media consumption and consumer habits revolve around digital platforms. WPP today announced that it would sell 60% of Kantar — the firm that provides stats and insights on how consumers buy and think of products in services […]


12 Jul, 2019TECHCRUNCH.COM

WPP sells 60% of market research giant Kantar to Bain, valuing Kantar at $4B

Some M&A is afoot in the world of market research and analysis, underscoring just how much of our media consumption and consumer habits revolve around digital platforms. WPP today announced that it would sell 60% of Kantar — the firm that provides stats and insights on how consumers buy and think of products in services in areas like technology, media, health and more (we’ve written many a story on TechCrunch citing Kantar figures) — to Bain Capital, the private equity firm. The all-cash transaction is expected to net Kantar $3.1B — minus tax and continuing investments that it will make in Kantar after the deal — and it values Kantar at $4 billion (or £3.2 billion), London-based WPP said.

The deal is a biggie that caps off months of speculation, after WPP announced in October 2018 that it planned to look for an outside investor to take a stake in Kantar, in part to raise some revenue from the transaction, and in part to have fresh investment in the operation. The plan had always been for WPP to keep a stake, since there are a lot of areas where Kantar works with other parts of WPP, one of the world’s biggest advertising agencies.

Others who had been interested in buying the stake reportedly also included CVC, Apollo and Platinum. Kantar made £2.56 billion ($3.2 billion) in revenues in 2018 and is profitable, according to figures from WPP’s announcement of the sale:...

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