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WPP to sell 60% of Kantar to Bain for $3.1bn

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Christian Fernsby |
WPP
Acquisition   WPP will retain major part of the net proceeds of the deal to reduce debt

WPP said Friday that it has agreed to sell a 60% stake in its Kantar unit to Bain Capital Private Equity for around $3.1 billion, and that it plans to return 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion) to shareholders.

The London-based advertising group said the deal values all of Kantar at $4.0 billion.

WPP will retain major part of the net proceeds of the deal to reduce debt to the lower end of its targeted leverage range, it said. The balance of around will be returned to shareholders, although the form of this return has yet to be communicated, WPP said.

Completion of the deal is expected in early 2020 and remains subject to approval from WPP's shareholders and regulators, as well as to the completion of a Kantar reorganization, WPP said.

WPP said the deal will be marginally dilutive to its headline earnings per share in 2021, and that its dividend policy will remain unchanged as a result of the transaction.


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