WPP - WPP plc

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
-0.63 (-1.05%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT
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Previous close60.12
Bid59.51 x 1100
Ask0.00 x 1100
Day's range59.30 - 59.81
52-week range50.31 - 84.64
Avg. volume163,119
Market cap15B
Beta (3Y monthly)1.00
PE ratio (TTM)6.02
EPS (TTM)9.89
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yield3.97 (6.61%)
Ex-dividend date2019-06-13
1y target est65.00
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Reuters - UK Focus6 hours ago

    UK marketing spending growth flat, uncertainty reigns -survey

    British companies made no change to their marketing spending in the second quarter this year compared to the previous quarter, as a leadership change in Britain and continued ambiguity over Brexit made clients hesitant and delayed decision making, a survey showed. The IPA Bellwether survey, conducted by IHS Markit, was based on a questionnaire of around 300 UK-based companies, and showed there will likely only be a modest 1.1% annual increase in adspend over the year. Bellwether panel members, recruited from Britain's top 1,000 companies, remained negative on financial prospects in the second quarter and forecast more a gloomy picture for industry-wide and company finances compared to what was seen during the first quarter this year.

  • YouTube's Trampled Foes Plot Antitrust Revenge
    Bloomberg2 days ago

    YouTube's Trampled Foes Plot Antitrust Revenge

    (Bloomberg) -- Brian O’Kelley built AppNexus Inc. to help companies advertise anywhere on the internet. Its software plugged into virtually every digital ad-trading hub, including those from Google, the biggest ad seller, and Google’s YouTube video service. By 2014, AppNexus was valued at $1.2 billion.Then, in 2015, Google stopped letting companies buy ads on YouTube using outside software. The move got more marketers to use Google ad services. It also created a glaring hole for AppNexus: The startup could no longer give customers access to the largest supply of online video. It never really recovered.“They crushed our growth and ruined our product," said O’Kelley, who stepped down as AppNexus chief executive officer last year. YouTube represented a huge portion of the video inventory that AppNexus offered to advertisers. Those marketers couldn’t just ignore YouTube "because it’s pretty much a monopoly in that space," he added. "It’s not a supply-and-demand problem. It’s a ‘You just broke our entire business’ problem.’”The story is familiar to advertising and media entrepreneurs who built businesses around YouTube, only to be hobbled when the video giant changed the rules of engagement. Google used YouTube’s popularity to lure creators, media companies and tech firms onto the service, gaining access to more videos and ad space. YouTube then used that supply to control ad prices and amass data about viewers, squeezing out anyone that tried to compete, according to interviews with more than a dozen partners, rivals and former employees. Many asked not to be identified discussing sensitive information about a powerful industry player.YouTube didn’t wipe out competition in one fell swoop, or act maliciously, according to these people. Instead, YouTube made decisions to consolidate the video ad-buying process, with little regard for partners or competition, and few regulatory checks. That left a graveyard of failed companies in its wake and fewer choices for advertisers, the people said.In digital video advertising, YouTube has no peers. The U.S. market harnessed $16.3 billion in ad spending last year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. YouTube accounted for the majority of that. Globally, the video giant generated $16 billion in 2018 sales, BMO Capital Markets estimates.YouTube disputes this depiction of its dominance. The company said it shares more than half its ad sales with video producers, and competes in a much bigger market than just online video ads. "Viewers have never had more choice when it comes to where to watch their favorite videos," YouTube spokeswoman Andrea Faville wrote in an email. "Similarly, advertisers have a wide and growing array of options, including traditional television, which still accounts for the majority of video ad spend."But U.S. regulators and politicians are now listening to claims that Google and YouTube may have run afoul of the law. The Department of Justice is considering an antitrust investigation of Google. The Federal Trade Commission is probing allegations that YouTube violated privacy laws protecting children, Bloomberg reported earlier this year. Congress, which has multiple investigations into Google and its peers, recently requested an interview with a former YouTube business partner, according to some of the people who spoke with Bloomberg.“If you’re looking into Google, it would be remiss not to look at YouTube,” said Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy for Open Markets Institute, a think tank. “You’ve got monopolies upon monopolies.”YouTube may be preparing for scrutiny. Its executives recently reached out to partners to ask how its practices have affected their ad sales, according to one of the people who spoke with Bloomberg. YouTube did so as part of typical partner relationship management efforts, but this person interpreted the outreach as a sign of YouTube nerves about antitrust regulation.Vevo humbledFew companies show YouTube’s grip on the digital video market better than Vevo, which distributes music videos online from two of the three largest record labels.The company was conceived by Doug Morris, then head of Universal Music Group. Founded in 2009, Vevo collected music videos and original programming, and distributed those clips across the internet – on YouTube, on Yahoo and on Vevo.com. The ultimate goal was to turn Vevo’s site into the MTV of the internet and get higher advertising rates, Morris said.At a lunch with Morris, then Google CEO Eric Schmidt embraced the idea. Vevo could share ad revenue with the internet giant when Vevo clips ran on YouTube.As YouTube grew, though, the relationship frayed. Vevo music videos were popular on YouTube, and advertisers loved them. But YouTube couldn’t sell ads on these clips because Vevo had exclusive rights in every market where it operated. The Google unit set out to take control of this valuable inventory through aggressive contract negotiations, sneaky sales tactics and even an effort to buy its rival outright, according to the people who spoke with Bloomberg.In late 2012, YouTube proposed a new contract that would have allowed it to also sell ads on Vevo videos, and would have reduced Vevo’s share of the revenue from those ads. Google also offered to buy Vevo. When the record labels balked, YouTube said it would take down Vevo music videos before the existing contract expired, according to the people who spoke with Bloomberg.Vevo’s leadership called an emergency board meeting. The company stood to lose millions of dollars if it disappeared from YouTube, which then reached about 1 billion people a month and accounted for most of Vevo’s audience and sales.Vevo executives told YouTube they would file an injunction describing what they said was bullying tactics, and asking a judge to block the video giant from removing Vevo videos, according to former employees and music industry executives. The gambit worked. YouTube agreed to a new deal that let Vevo keep exclusive rights to its ad inventory.In July 2013, Google acquired a minority stake in Vevo. That didn’t give it full control, but offered more visibility into Vevo’s business.YouTube’s attempts to stifle Vevo continued, according to people familiar with the efforts. While it couldn’t access Vevo’s ad inventory, the video giant could reduce its influence, the people said.YouTube encouraged artists to go around Vevo by creating their own YouTube channels to replace the ones operated by Vevo, the people said. Faville, the YouTube spokeswoman, said the company encouraged artists to consolidate their presence on a single "official" channel to avoid confusion. "This product change was a net benefit to fans and artists," she added.YouTube also flirted with the limits of its Vevo deal. Some of YouTube’s sales pitches to advertisers included the Vevo logo and artists such as Rihanna, according to people who saw the documents. The documents suggested that YouTube could run ads on Vevo videos even though YouTube was contractually prohibited from doing so. Vevo executives flagged the problem to YouTube executives, who apologized and blamed the sales team, the people said. Faville called this a one-time error.Vevo tried to send viewers to its own website and mobile app, but YouTube’s algorithms made that risky. The software recommended videos that were watched a lot on YouTube. If Vevo clips were seen elsewhere, those views were not counted by the Google unit. The result: Vevo videos didn’t perform as well on YouTube, according to industry executives. Faville said YouTube’s algorithms don’t factor whether videos direct viewers elsewhere.In 2018, Vevo stopped competing with YouTube for a large consumer audience, shutting its app and website, and cutting product and engineering staff. Around the same time, YouTube secured a deal that gave it what rivals say it wanted all along: the right to sell Vevo’s ads.In thinking about what went wrong, Morris remembers discussing Vevo with Steve Jobs. “Why won’t Vevo be worth billions?” he asked before the Apple Inc. co-founder died in 2011. Jobs said Google already effectively owned Vevo because YouTube had a lock on Vevo’s viewers. "They’ll control it," Jobs warned, according to Morris.Once envisioned as a site that would compete with YouTube for views and ad dollars, Vevo is now mostly a logo with a small sales team.Machinima’s demiseMachinima Inc., like Vevo, started out as an asset for YouTube. In YouTube’s early days, it didn’t have an advertising sales team nor staff managing relationships with individual video creators. Machinima was one of the first companies to assemble a network of YouTube channels and creators. It sold ads on the channels’ behalf, struck deals with brands and developed YouTube stars, including PewDiePie, one of the most popular video bloggers. That success spawned clones, including Maker Studios, Fullscreen and AwesomenessTV. Known as multi-channel networks, or MCNs, they were seen as the cable networks of the future.But the relationship soured as MCNs got big enough to compete for ad dollars. YouTube executives didn’t want third parties getting in between viewers, video creators and advertisers, according to former MCN executives and employees. So YouTube made MCNs superfluous by replicating many of their offerings, while limiting their access to data and tools that would have helped them build their own businesses, these people said.In November 2013, YouTube instituted a policy that made it clear MCNs would need to look beyond YouTube if they wanted to thrive. The company said it would take 45% of ad sales from all partners on YouTube, up from the 30% it collected from some large media companies. Solo creators could survive on a 55% share, but the MCNs couldn’t support their growing staff and expansion plans.“These companies realized advertising sales weren’t enough,” said Peter Csathy, founder of advisory firm CREATV Media. “Too much of a share had to go to YouTube.” YouTube’s Faville said revenue sharing agreements with MCNs didn’t change.The MCNs tried using collective power to get more favorable terms. They wrote a letter asking YouTube to consider changes, but that went nowhere. Some MCN executives pitched their boards on going to the Justice Department to file an antitrust suit against YouTube, but directors refused to fund what would have been a long and expensive legal battle, according to people familiar with the deliberations.Relations between MCNs and YouTube deteriorated under Susan Wojcicki, who took over as chief executive officer of YouTube in 2014. The veteran Google advertising leader corralled the company’s huge digital sales force to focus more on YouTube. She also created Google Preferred, a package of the best-performing videos on YouTube that advertisers could buy.YouTube already sold more video ad space at attractive prices than any media company online. With Google Preferred, YouTube could also compete on quality. Google offered advertisers similar videos as Machinima at lower prices, with better targeting and more volume. YouTube had the relevant clips – and, with data from Google’s other popular services, it knew more about what viewers wanted to see. Smaller media companies like Machinima could not sustain their sales forces selling less-targeted ads at the lower rates offered by Google and YouTube.One by one, the MCNs either shrank, sold themselves or died. Earlier this year, Machinima laid off its remaining employees and ceased operations.AppNexus’s ordealBrian O’Kelley’s AppNexus had a similar experience. It flourished in a market that Google helped create: programmatic online advertising. For years, ads were placed with handshake deals between marketers willing to spend and websites willing to sell. With programmatic software, buying ads became more automated, effective, cheaper and faster. Several firms raised millions of dollars to pursue this opportunity. Rocket Fuel Inc., went public in 2013 valued at more than $2 billion. The Rubicon Project Inc. did an initial public offering in 2014, and AppNexus was tipped to follow.But in 2015, Google made a move that showed how powerful it was in this market. Google removed YouTube inventory from ad exchanges run by other companies including AppNexus. With a few exceptions, any advertiser that wanted to market on YouTube had to use Google’s software or ad exchange.Google saw a business rationale behind the decision. Outside exchanges handled less than 5% of YouTube’s ad slots at the time, according to the company. Also, YouTube’s most popular ad format -- a skippable one that ran before videos, called TrueView -- was "not supported" on external exchanges, YouTube’s Faville said. Keeping such a small slice of ads available to buyers through other exchanges wasn’t worth the extra work.However, O’Kelley and others in the ad-tech industry saw the move as a clear example of Google using YouTube’s assets to favor other parts of its business -- in this case, Google’s ad software -- at the expense of rivals. Five percent of YouTube ads may not be important for Google, but it’s a vast amount for smaller competitors.Dina Srinivasan, a former executive at ad agency WPP Plc, compared Google’s 2015 move to a company decreeing that investors can only trade popular shares on one stock exchange, and through one brokerage firm.Google ad prices are set in an auction and not public. But taking YouTube off outside exchanges probably reduced the number of marketers bidding on its ads, lowering prices, according to Srinivasan. “Google may have absorbed a loss in YouTube revenue for some other reason,” she added. “The question regulators will be asking is whether that reason was to drive out competition.”Despite a short-term dent in YouTube sales, the ploy likely increased the long-term value of Google by billions of dollars because it strengthened the company’s grip on advertising technology, according to O’Kelley. "That’s kind of how monopolies roll," he said.There’s a “no economic sense” test in U.S. antitrust law that may apply here, according Srinivasan. The Justice Department’s top trustbuster Makan Delrahim discussed this in a recent speech about big tech companies. When oil refineries refused to sell themselves to Standard Oil in the late 19th century, the giant cut prices to drive them out of business. Lower prices are the essence of competition, but a powerful company is not allowed to do things that make no business sense just to make it harder for rivals to catch up, he said.YouTube said its tactics were sensible. "Like any business, we make changes to how we operate to reflect the current climate," Faville said. "We make all these decisions with the same goal: to improve the YouTube experience for our users, creators, and advertisers."Since Google changed the YouTube ad-buying process, much of the rest of the programmatic market has withered: Rubicon Project is trading about two-thirds below its IPO price; Rocket Fuel Inc.’s valuation fell below $100 million before it was acquired. The AppNexus IPO never happened and it sold to AT&T Inc. last year for $1.4 billion. The Trade Desk Inc. is a rare thriving player, but it operates in China and other markets where Google is less active.In 2016, several ad tech companies, including AppNexus, met with Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to discuss the industry, and some complained about YouTube’s behavior, according to O’Kelley. The response was tepid at best, he said.“We had a really hard time getting them to pay attention," O’Kelley recalled. "They would say, ‘It’s hard to understand.’" A spokeswoman for the FTC declined to comment, and the Department of Justice didn’t respond to a request for comment.But now, O’Kelley may have a more attentive audience. In May, he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on digital advertising. "This is not a functioning market," he said. "It enables Google, which doesn’t produce content, to monopolize all aspects of the programmatic business and take a disproportionate tax for its trouble."Later, over the phone, O’Kelley was less grim about the political response. "Maybe now they’re paying attention," he said.To contact the reporters on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.net;Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Emily BiusoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • London markets gain as Fed rate cut optimism boosts global stocks
    MarketWatch5 days ago

    London markets gain as Fed rate cut optimism boosts global stocks

    London stocks continued to rally on Friday as the heightened prospect of Federal Reserve rate cuts swept optimism across global markets.

  • Bloomberg5 days ago

    Bain Buys Huge Stake in Market Research Business for $4 Billion

    (Bloomberg) -- Bain Capital agreed to buy 60% of WPP Plc’s market research unit Kantar, bringing the ad group $3.1 billion to cut debt and return funds to investors hit by a share price slump. The private equity firm entered exclusive talks with WPP last week after beating out rival buyout companies in an auction. WPP will retain around 60% of the proceeds to reduce borrowing to the low end of a target range and return the rest to shareholders, it said in a statement. The price is in line with Kantar’s $4 billion valuation that Bloomberg reported when the exclusive talks began. Bain was competing against Apollo Global Management, Platinum Equity and Vista Equity Partners in the final round of bidding, people familiar with the matter said previously.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says“WPP could tender a sizable chunk of its debt stack after receiving cash from the potential Kantar disposal, which is expected to complete in the short term.”--Aidan Cheslin, credit analyst Click here to read the researchWPP shares rose 0.6% as of 9:11 a.m. in London on Friday. The stock lost more than a third of its value last year, when company founder Martin Sorrell resigned after a misconduct probe and the company lost accounts with major clients. WPP has struggled to adapt its global network of more than 100 agencies to a shift in client spending toward digital marketing and away from the TV and billboard ads where the group is traditionally strong. Web giants such as Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are cutting out agencies and working directly with brands. The Kantar sale is part of new Chief Executive Officer Mark Read’s push to cut debt and simplify the company. Sorrell had strongly advocated keeping Kantar, which analysts say has underperformed the rest of WPP in recent years. Kantar’s CEO Eric Salama said last month that a new majority owner could look for ways to speed up its time to market for data and services, drive growth with existing clients and move its business more into digital activities.“It’s not just a money thing. The people at Bain bring real operational expertise that will really help us,” Salama told reporters on a call after the deal was announced. (Adds analyst comment in fourth paragraph, executive comment at end.)To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Pfeiffer in London at tpfeiffer3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net, Stefan Nicola, John LauermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire5 days ago

    WPP Proposed Sale of 60% of Kantar

    WPP (NYSE: WPP) is today announcing that it has entered into an agreement to sell 60% of Kantar, its global data, research, consulting and analytics business, to Bain Capital (the “Proposed Transaction”). The Proposed Transaction creates a strong partnership for the development and growth of Kantar and values the whole of Kantar at a headline enterprise value of c.$4.0bn (c.£3.2bn).

  • Reuters - UK Focus5 days ago

    UPDATE 3-Slimmed-down WPP to net $3.1 bln selling Kantar stake to Bain

    WPP is selling a 60% stake in Kantar to private equity firm Bain Capital, valuing the data analytics business at about $4 billion and giving the British owner of agencies including Ogilvy and Wunderman Thompson funds to cut debt and rebuild. WPP is restructuring following several profit warnings and the abrupt departure of its founder and former chief executive Martin Sorrell over alleged misconduct, which he denies. Sorrell's replacement Mark Read said the Kantar sale, which WPP expects to lead to proceeds of about $3.1 billion after tax and continuing investment, created value for WPP shareholders.

  • Forget Bitcoin! I’d invest in these 2 FTSE 100 income heroes
    Fool.co.uk6 days ago

    Forget Bitcoin! I’d invest in these 2 FTSE 100 income heroes

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  • Business Wire7 days ago

    BCW Hires Industry Veteran Ben Boyd as a Key Agency Leader in Newly Created Senior Global Role

    BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), a leading global communications agency, announced today that Ben Boyd will join the agency as Global Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, effective September 3, 2019. Boyd will partner with BCW’s Global CEO Donna Imperato across all five of the agency’s global regions on strategy, operations and client development.

  • Bloomberg8 days ago

    WPP Is Near Agreement to Sell 60% of Kantar Unit to Bain

    (Bloomberg) -- WPP Plc is planning to announce the sale of a majority stake in its Kantar market-research business to Bain Capital within days, people familiar with the matter said. Bain has been discussing the purchase of a 60% stake, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The parties are finalizing terms of an agreement and are preparing to make an announcement as soon as the next two days, the people said. Representatives for WPP and Bain declined to comment. An announcement could still be postponed, the people said. The private equity firm entered into exclusive talks for the business last week after beating out rival buyout companies. The talks valued Kantar at about $4 billion, WPP said at the time. The sale is part of WPP Chief Executive Officer Mark Read’s push to cut debt and simplify the global ad agency network after ditching his predecessor’s acquisition-fueled growth strategy. Read has said previously he’d like to keep a 25% to 40% stake in Kantar and will use some of the proceeds to offset earnings dilution. WPP shares were down 0.2% as of 8:07 a.m. in London. The stock is up 16% so far this year. The advertising industry is grappling with a shift to digital ads, which are set to make up the majority of ad spending for the first time this year and are displacing more traditional media, according to research from Magna Global. Deals for advertising companies are up about 21% in the past 12 months from the year earlier, with bidders spending about $16.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (Adds WPP shares in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Sarah Syed.To contact the reporters on this story: Dinesh Nair in London at dnair5@bloomberg.net;Joe Mayes in London at jmayes9@bloomberg.net;Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dinesh Nair at dnair5@bloomberg.net, ;Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Amy ThomsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus9 days ago

    Online ad growth seen slowing in 2021 to levels since dotcom bubble burst

    Global advertising spend is expected to grow 4.6% in 2019, a dip from previous estimates, with internet advertising seen slowing to single digits in 2021 for first since the dotcom bubble burst, industry forecaster Zenith said. Zenith, owned by French advertising group Publicis , said in a report published on Monday that internet advertising would account for 52% of global advertising expenditure in 2021, surpassing the 50% mark for the first time. The report comes during the time when advertising companies including market leader WPP Plc have seen clients switching to using online platforms such as Google and Facebook to reach consumers.

  • Introducing WPP (LON:WPP), The Stock That Dropped 40% In The Last Three Years
    Simply Wall St.9 days ago

    Introducing WPP (LON:WPP), The Stock That Dropped 40% In The Last Three Years

    While not a mind-blowing move, it is good to see that the WPP plc (LON:WPP) share price has gained 16% in the last...

  • 3 FTSE 100 dividend stocks with yields over 5% I’d buy in July
    Fool.co.uk11 days ago

    3 FTSE 100 dividend stocks with yields over 5% I’d buy in July

    Roland Head highlights three FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) stocks he'd buy for a reliable second income.

  • Forget the cash ISA. I like these two FTSE 100 stocks that yield nearly 6%!
    Fool.co.uk15 days ago

    Forget the cash ISA. I like these two FTSE 100 stocks that yield nearly 6%!

    It's a great time to buy these top FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) income stocks, writes Rupert Hargreaves.

  • Bain Emerges as Leading Bidder for WPP's Kantar Unit
    Bloomberg15 days ago

    Bain Emerges as Leading Bidder for WPP's Kantar Unit

    (Bloomberg) -- Bain Capital is in exclusive talks to buy a majority stake in WPP Plc’s Kantar unit in a deal valuing the market-research business at about $4 billion including debt.The buyout firm’s proposal is subject to negotiation and there’s no guarantee that talks will result in a deal, WPP said in a statement on Monday, which confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report. The company was competing against Apollo Global Management, Platinum Equity and Vista Equity Partners in the final round of bidding, people familiar with the auction said previously.The Kantar sale is part of WPP Chief Executive Officer Mark Read’s push to cut debt and simplify the global ad agency network after ditching his predecessor Martin Sorrell’s acquisition-fueled growth strategy.The price being discussed appears to be in line with expectations and the exclusive talks should give confidence that a deal will be completed, allowing WPP to significantly reduce debt, Liberum analysts led by Ian Whittaker wrote in a research note.WPP shares were up 0.3% as of 8:09 a.m. in London on Tuesday. The stock is up 20% so far this year.Read is focusing on improving WPP’s digital marketing skills after losing work with some key consumer goods clients. The owner of agencies including Ogilvy and Wunderman Thompson has struggled with the shift to online marketing and faces a growing threat from Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.Sorrell had strongly advocated keeping Kantar, which analysts say has underperformed the rest of WPP in recent years. The bidders are comfortable with Kantar’s basic business model and want to speed up its delivery of data and services and add more digital activities, its CEO Eric Salama said in an interview last month.Read has said he’d like to keep a 25% to 40% stake and will use some of the proceeds to offset earnings dilution.Click here to read more about WPP’s last financial results.WPP also said Monday it was selling its 25% stake in sports-marketing agency Chime Communications Ltd. to majority shareholder Providence for 54.4 million pounds ($68.8 million).Bain is working with Credit Suisse Group AG and London-based boutique advisory firm Canson Capital Partners. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Ardea Partners are advising WPP on the sale. (Adds analyst comment in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Joe Mayes, David Hellier, Liana Baker and Ruth David.To contact the reporters on this story: Dinesh Nair in London at dnair5@bloomberg.net;Sarah Syed in London at ssyed35@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Scent at bscent@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Rebecca PentyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus16 days ago

    UPDATE 3-WPP in exclusive talks to sell Kantar stake to Bain Capital

    WPP is in exclusive talks to sell a majority stake in its data analytics unit Kantar to private equity firm Bain Capital, it said on Monday, in a $4 billion deal aimed at steering the world's biggest advertising company back to growth. WPP had shortlisted a series of U.S. buyout funds to submit binding bids for a majority stake in Kantar including Apollo and Platinum, Reuters reported in May.

  • Is WPP PLC (WPP) a Profitable Pick for Value Investors Now?
    Zacks16 days ago

    Is WPP PLC (WPP) a Profitable Pick for Value Investors Now?

    Let's see if WPP PLC (WPP) stock is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now from multiple angles.

  • Reuters16 days ago

    WPP sells minority stake in Chime for £54.4 million

    WPP said on Monday it had sold the stake to Chime's majority shareholder Providence Equity Partners, with the potential for additional payout amounts based on the future value of Chime. WPP did not disclose its stake in Chime, but a Sunday Times report said it is expected to offload 25% of its holding to Providence, which already owns 75%. Read replaced founder Martin Sorrell during a period of turmoil in 2018 and set out his vision after a loss of key clients led to several profit warnings and a slump in its market value.

  • Reuters - UK Focus16 days ago

    WPP sells minority stake in Chime for $68.9 Mln

    WPP Plc said it sold its minority stake in sports, entertainment and communications company Chime for 54.4 million pounds ($68.91 million), as the world's biggest advertising company looks to sell non-core assets and return to growth. WPP said on Monday it had sold the stake to Chime's majority shareholder Providence Equity Partners, with the potential for additional payout amounts based on the future value of Chime. WPP did not disclose its stake in Chime, but a Sunday Times report https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/wpp-under-mark-read-offloads-stake-in-chime-0gx38wv7m said it is expected to offload 25% of its holding to Providence, which already owns 75%.

  • Bloomberg23 days ago

    The Tiny Company That Spawned a Global Media Empire Gets the Ax

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Who even knew that WPP Plc still made wire baskets?It’s the basis for a good pub trivia question: former Chief Executive Officer Martin Sorrell built the world’s largest ads company by seeking out a publicly traded business where he could acquire control on the cheap, then use it as a deal-making vehicle to expand. The company he found was Wire and Plastic Products, a maker of wire baskets. In 1985, he bought a controlling stake, and over the subsequent 33 years expanded it into a 16-billion-pound global advertising player.Mark Read, Sorrell’s successor, is on the cusp of selling that business, British newspaper The Times reported on Saturday. I, for one, was flabbergasted to discover that WPP still owned it.It’s an infinitesimally small part of WPP’s business. The 973,641 pounds ($1.2 million) of 2017 sales it generated, the most recent fiscal year filed at Companies House, represented 0.006% of the parent company’s revenue. Or seven seconds of advertising at the Super Bowl halftime, where a 30-second slot costs $5 million.But this divestment isn’t about the money, per se. The company’s continued presence in the WPP stable is emblematic of the bloat which became endemic under Sorrell, whose investments included a 9% stake in publisher Vice Media and 19% stake in Argentinian software firm Globant SA. Read is demonstrating a clean break from the previous era. The message is that there’s no room for sentimentality.He’s earmarked 200 million pounds worth of divestments this year, adding to the 849 million pounds of businesses he sold last year. That excludes the sale of a majority stake in its Kantar market research business, which may close in the next few weeks and could be valued at more than 3 billion pounds. It’s a long overdue streamlining.Divestments alone won’t fix WPP’s problems. Sales in North America, the firm’s biggest market, continue to fall. Read has pushed through the internal mergers of some of his most prominent agencies: J. Walter Thompson has been combined with digital agency Wunderman to form Wunderman Thompson, for instance.Read signaled in an interview with Bloomberg News last week that he wasn’t done with acquisitions either. He tried to indicate that this wasn’t just taking a leaf from the Sorrell playbook, of buying customers and therefore growth.His stated aim is to be more strategic and buy digital capabilities, even in the creative space. That would echo archrival Publicis Groupe SA’s $4.4 billion deal to acquire digital marketing specialist Epsilon in April. It seems the transformation has a long way to go.For his part, Sorrell is building a new advertising holding company, having engineered a reverse takeover of Derriston Capital Plc and rebranding it S4 Capital Ltd. to fuel new deals. I fear it’s an unlikely eventuality, but I do wonder whether Sorrell’s impish side would be tempted to buy Wire and Plastic Products, just to close the loop.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Ryan at jryan13@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Forget a Cash ISA! I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 dividend stocks yielding 6%+ today
    Fool.co.uk25 days ago

    Forget a Cash ISA! I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 dividend stocks yielding 6%+ today

    These two FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) dividend shares could offer significantly higher income returns than a Cash ISA in my opinion.

  • Business Wire26 days ago

    Sale of The Farm Group

    WPP today announces the sale of The Farm Group, a leading provider of post-production services, to Los Angeles-based Picture Shop.

  • How Financially Strong Is WPP plc (LON:WPP)?
    Simply Wall St.26 days ago

    How Financially Strong Is WPP plc (LON:WPP)?

    Investors seeking to preserve capital in a volatile environment might consider large-cap stocks such as WPP plc...

  • Reuters - UK Focus29 days ago

    Advertisers, agencies and social media combine to tackle online threat

    Sixteen of the world's biggest advertisers have joined together to push platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube to do more to tackle dangerous and fake content online. The Global Alliance for Responsible Media will also include media buying agencies from the major ad groups - WPP, IPG, Publicis, Omnicom and Dentsu - as well as the platform owners, the group said on Tuesday at the ad industry's annual gathering in Cannes, France. Luis Di Como, executive vice president of global media at Unilever, said it was the first time that all sides of the industry had come together to tackle a problem that had far reaching consequences for society.

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