Expert Corporate Governance Service (ECGS)
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WPP PLC - EGM 24 October 2019

Disposal of 60% of Kantar business is tabled to vote. This is the biggest step in the WPP
reorganisation announced at the end of 2018. The CEO Mark Read, Sir Martin Sorrell’s
successor, set out a three-year plan of “radical evolution” to return the business to
growth, aiming a new WPP as a leader in creativity and technology. Part of this broad
restructuring, WPP has simplified its businesses, sold off companies (according to FT,
more than 30 subsidiaries for a total of almost £900m), cutting 3,500 jobs worldwide.
After the deal, Kantar will be held 60% by Bain Capital (indirectly) and 40% by the WPP
as a joint venture. The enterprise value of Kantar is $4.0 bn. 60% of the net proceeds
from the deal will be used to cut WPP debt and the balance distributed to shareholders.
We consider the proposed disposal to be in line with the new business strategy of the
WPP group, that will also strengthen the financial situation of the company.


WPP is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, Co. is a communications services organization providing national and multinational clients a range of communications services. Co. is organized into four operating segments: Advertising and Media Investment Management; Data Investment Management; Public Relations and Public Affairs; and Branding and Identity, Healthcare and Specialist Communications. This last reportable segment includes WPP Digital and direct, digital, promotional & relationship marketing.


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