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WPP picks 15.45% equity in comScore!

WPP announces that Kantar, its wholly-owned data investment management arm, has entered into a strategic global alliance with comScore, Inc, the US-based internet audience measurement company. The alliance, which covers territories outside the US, is designed to deliver world class cross-media audience and campaign measurement capabilities by bringing together products, technology, data assets, research panels and relationships from both companies.

The alliance includes an acquisition by WPP of a significant equity stake in comScore. WPP will offer to purchase up to 15.45% of comScore through a tender offer with an offering price of US$46.13 per share, and comScore will issue new shares representing 4.45% of comScore in consideration for certain Kantar European internet audience measurement assets, plus potentially additional new shares, depending on the result of the tender offer. Through a combination of new shares primary issuance by comScore and the tender offer, WPP will own a total stake in comScore of between 15 and 19.9%. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed later in the year.

These agreements continue WPP's strategy of developing its services in important markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities in digital and data investment management businesses. WPP’s digital revenues (including associates) were well over US$6 billion in 2013, amounting to approximately 35% of the Group’s total revenues of US$17.3 billion. WPP has set a target of 40-45% of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years.

The partnership will also strengthen the capabilities of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, Kantar is the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 30,000 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. Worldwide, WPP's data investment management companies (including associates) collectively generate revenues of about US$5 billion and employ over 34,000 people.

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