WPP completes Kantar sale

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WPP has announced the completion of the sale of its stake in Kantar to Bain Capital.

The group said the total proceeds of the deal are expected to be around £2.4 billion.

The deal was originally announced in July, and shareholders were officially notified in October. WPP says it plans to retain around 60 per cent of the proceeds to reduce its debt, and will return the remainder to shareholders.

WPP shareholders will therefore receive approximately £950 million from the deal.

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer at WPP, said: “The completion of the Kantar transaction, earlier than anticipated, achieves the objective we set out in December 2018 to strengthen our balance sheet, and substantially completes our disposal programme. It is a major step in simplifying and focusing WPP, and we intend to return around 8% of our share capital to shareholders through a buyback programme. The partnership with Bain Capital means that we will participate in the future growth of Kantar as well as allowing our clients to continue to benefit from Kantar’s services.”