WPP to sell 60% stake in Kantar to Bain Capital
WPP said it plans to sell a 60% stake in Kantar to Bain Capital. The investment by Bain Capital Private Equity values Kantar at c.$4bn; WPP said its leverage target to be met a year ahead of plan; c.GBP 1.0bn shareholder return planned. Proceeds to WPP on completion after tax and continuing investment in Kantar expected to be c.$3.1bn , WPP said. WPP to retain c.60% of net proceeds to reduce debt to the low end of the target leverage range of 1.5 - 1.75x average net debt/EBITDA3 for 2020. Impact of proposed transaction and use of proceeds expected to be marginally dilutive to headline EPS in 2021. Completion and associated proceeds relating to no less than 86% of Kantar expected in early 2020, subject to approval by WPP shareholders and other customary regulatory and legal approvals. Mark Read, CEO, WPP, said: "Kantar is a great business and we look forward to working with Bain Capital to unlock its full potential. As a strategic partner and shareholder in Kantar, WPP will continue to benefit from its future growth while our clients continue to benefit from its services and capabilities."