Marcoms giant WPP has started a formal process to review the future ownership of Kantar, looking at potential external partners, with WPP retaining a stake in the business.
Last month, WPP reported that revenue for its DIM division had fallen 4.9% during the second quarter to £640m - equivalent to a 1.5% drop in constant currency terms. The division (previously known as Consumer Insights) houses Kantar companies including Kantar TNS, Kantar Millward Brown and Lightspeed, along with many specialist firms. Analysts are valuing the business at between $3 billion and $4 billion, and estimate it might fetch as much as $4.9 billion if sold.
According to a staff e-mail from Kantar CEO Eric Salama (pictured), Mark Reid WPP's recently appointed CEO, has started a formal process to review Kantar's future ownership, and together with the rest of the Kantar Board, Salama has been fully involved in this process. In the e-mail, Salama states: 'We are enthused by this change in direction and are confident in - and excited about - the future of Kantar. We believe it will help us unlock our growth potential as the world's leading data, insights and consulting company,'
In a client statement, WPP explains that it 'believes in the potential for Kantar', but given many priorities, believe the best way to unlock this potential is with a strategic or financial partner.
Web sites: www.wpp.com and www.kantar.com .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.