Advertsting agency WPP plc proposes to sell its Kantar Group stake to Bain Capital

Advertising agency WPP has proposed to sell a majority stake in its subsidiary Kantar, in a deal which values the data business at more than £3bn and will see £1bn returned to shareholders.

Founder Sir Martin Sorrell left WPP last year. Pic: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Bain Capital, an American private equity firm, will acquire a 60 per cent stake in Kantar under the proposed transaction terms, with proceeds for WPP expected to be £2.5bn.

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Overall the sale would value Kantar, a data and insights company with more than 30,000 employees globally, at £3.2bn.

WPP said around 60 per cent of proceeds will be used to reduce debt, but about £1bn will be returned to shareholders. However, the transaction would negatively affect WPP’s earnings in 2021, as Kantar accounts for around 15 per cent of the group’s overall sales. The business was founded by Sir Martin Sorrell last year.