WPP has confirmed this evening it is now in exclusive talks with private equity firm Bain Capital, over the sale of a majority stake in Kantar.
The marcoms giant stresses that the Bain Capital proposal, which reports suggest values Kantar at around $4bn, is 'subject to negotiation' and there is no certainty that a transaction will result.
WPP Chief Exec Mark Read told analysts at the beginning of March that the firm sees the sale of a controlling share in Kantar to a 'financial and strategic partner' as the best way forward, and in May reports suggested that four private equity investors had made the shortlist, including Bain, Apollo, Platinum and a fourth company, later said to be Vista Equity Partners, a firm co-founded by US billionaire Robert F. Smith.
The announcement of a single bidder remaining is pretty much on cue: WPP had previously said that the deal would be done by the end of the second quarter or the middle of the year. The Group also announced today it had sold its stake in communications and MR group Chime.
Web sites: www.wpp.com , www.kantar.com and www.baincapital.com .
All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.