WPP.L - WPP plc

LSE - LSE Delayed Price. Currency in GBp
942.20
-17.80 (-1.85%)
At close: 4:37PM BST
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Previous Close960.00
Open961.20
Bid945.20 x 0
Ask945.20 x 0
Day's Range939.40 - 961.20
52 Week Range791.00 - 1,323.50
Volume2,563,455
Avg. Volume3,665,268
Market Cap11.89B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.24
PE Ratio (TTM)11.18
EPS (TTM)84.30
Earnings DateAug 9, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield0.60 (6.25%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-06-13
1y Target Est1,078.52
  • 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.

  • Financial Times5 days ago

    WPP slims down with Kantar stake sale

    US private equity group Bain Capital has agreed to buy a 60 per cent stake in Kantar, valuing the group at around $4bn including debt. Luca Bassi, managing director at Bain, said it would not be unreasonable to expect a sum of around £1bn to be invested in Kantar.

  • Reuters5 days ago

    UPDATE 2-WPP to sell 60% of Kantar to Bain Capital

    Advertising giant WPP has agreed to sell a 60% stake in data analytics arm Kantar to private equity firm Bain Capital, in a deal that values Kantar at about $4 billion and gives WPP funds for its turnaround plan. WPP, the owner of advertising agencies including Ogilvy and Wunderman Thompson, is in the midst of an overhaul following several profit warnings and the abrupt departure of founder Martin Sorrell over a complaint of misconduct, which he denies. WPP said proceeds from the deal, after tax and continuing investment in Kantar, were expected to be about $3.1 billion.

  • Financial Times5 days ago

    WPP/Kantar: data dump

    Since Martin Sorrell jumped ship from ad giant WPP just over a year ago, its market value has sunk lower in the water by a fifth. Newish captain Mark Read had to find a way of lightening the load. Kantar is the ballast most easily jettisoned.

  • GuruFocus.com8 days ago

    David Herro Comments on WPP

    Guru stock highlight

  • GuruFocus.com8 days ago

    David Herro's Oakmark International Fund 2nd-Quarter Commentary

    Discussion of markets and holdings

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Reuters17 days ago

    PRESS DIGEST- British Business - July 1

    The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Jaguar Land Rover is expected to reveal this week that it will build an all-electric version of its XJ luxury saloon at its Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham. Advertising giant WPP Plc is selling its stake in the sports marketing agency Chime to help cut its hefty debt pile.

  • Hedge Funds Have Never Been More Bullish On WPP plc (WPP)
    Insider Monkey19 days ago

    Hedge Funds Have Never Been More Bullish On WPP plc (WPP)

    You probably know from experience that there is not as much information on small-cap companies as there is on large companies. Of course, this makes it really hard and difficult for individual investors to make proper and accurate analysis of certain small-cap companies. However, well-known and successful hedge fund managers like Jeff Ubben, George Soros […]

  • Moody's22 days ago

    Omnicom Finance Holdings plc -- Moody's assigns Baa1 rating to Omnicom Finance's new sr unsecured euro notes

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") assigned a Baa1 rating to Omnicom Finance Holdings plc's ("Omnicom Finance") proposed senior unsecured euro notes offering targeting 8 to 12 year maturities of up to €1 billion (USD1.14 billion equivalent). Omnicom Finance is domiciled in London, UK and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Omnicom Group, Inc. ("Omnicom" or the "company"). Omnicom's Baa1 long-term debt rating and stable outlook remain unchanged.

  • 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.

  • Moody's23 days ago

    Omnicom Group, Inc. -- Moody's assigns Baa1 rating to Omnicom Finance's new sr unsecured euro notes

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") assigned a Baa1 rating to Omnicom Finance Holdings plc's ("Omnicom Finance") proposed senior unsecured euro notes offering targeting 8 to 12 year maturities of up to E1 billion (USD1.14 billion equivalent). Omnicom Finance is domiciled in London, UK and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Omnicom Group, Inc. ("Omnicom" or the "company"). Omnicom's Baa1 long-term debt rating and stable outlook remain unchanged.

  • 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...

  • Reuters29 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.

  • Specter of Toxic Content Stalks Ad Industry’s Big Annual Party
    Bloomberglast month

    Specter of Toxic Content Stalks Ad Industry’s Big Annual Party

    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. and Google have come to dominate the beach front at the advertising industry’s biggest annual gathering in Cannes on the French Riviera, a sign of their ever-growing power in the world of marketing. This year, they face their toughest scrutiny yet.The tech giants have pulled billions of ad dollars away from traditional media as consumers flocked to their platforms. Now a proliferation of objectionable content on their sites threatens to taint the global brands that advertise there. So expect marketing managers to put Silicon Valley executives on the spot at Cannes Lions, a week of events, meetings, speeches and parties by the Mediterranean.The event starting Monday is the ad industry’s Oscars. Executives vie for awards for the most creative campaigns, sign deals and talk shop at lavish parties on the beach. Celebrities will add some glamor, from Grammy-award winner John Legend and film director Alfonso Cuaron to Hollywood star Jeff Goldblum with his jazz band.With the tech giants distracted by the problem of toxic content and concerns over data privacy, the traditional ad agency networks such as WPP Plc and Omnicom Group Inc. will be trying to reassert themselves and recoup marketing work lost in recent years to digital rivals and global consultancies Accenture Plc and Deloitte LLP.Here’s more of what to expect in Cannes:Tech Giants Under ScrutinyFacebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Google executive Matt Brittin and YouTube’s vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa Cecile Frot-Coutaz are due to speak. Marketing managers want to know what they’re doing about their brands showing up alongside fake news, a live-streamed shooting massacre on Facebook, images of self-harm on Instagram and pedophile commentary on YouTube.“It goes far beyond the direct implications for the brand. It’s actually, what are we funding? There’s much more of an appetite for these platforms to be engaging,” said Stephan Loerke, head of the World Federation of Advertisers, which represents 90 percent of the world’s marketing communication spend.Mad Men Fight BackThe global ad networks will try to regain their swagger after budget cuts at big brands and incursions by new rivals. London-based WPP, undergoing a reboot under new Chief Executive Officer Mark Read, will set up its first stand on the Cannes beach -- a spot typically occupied by companies like Facebook, Alphabet Inc. unit Google and Twitter Inc. -- in a nod to Read’s digital makeover of the ad network. Paris-based Publicis Groupe SA returns to Cannes after skipping last year’s event to spend the money building a new artificial intelligence platform.“We’ve had the year of slightly depressed navel-gazing and we’re going to move into the year of forward-looking, optimistic yet pragmatic problem solving,” said Jim Prior, CEO of Superunion, a brand agency owned by WPP. “It’s going to be sleeves rolled up, looking forward, let’s get on with this.”Climate ChangeHow does an industry whose job is to propel global consumption respond to panic over climate change and environmental destruction? The question is now unavoidable in light of the Extinction Rebellion movement, the international fame of Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and the Netflix documentary series “Our Planet.”“It’s moved from being a zealot’s concern to absolutely mainstream,” said Mark Lund, U.K. Group CEO of McCann Worldgroup, a creative agency owned by the Interpublic Group of Cos. “Brands would be stupid if they didn’t have some view on what it meant for them and their role in ameliorating the problem.”Creativity and DataCannes Lions started as a “festival of creativity” for people who make ads to share ideas and admire each other’s work. It’s morphed into a global event attended by over 10,000 people involved in every aspect of marketing, from data-crunchers who analyze consumer behavior to media buyers trading ad space. This year’s event seeks to bridge the creative and tech worlds to improve collaboration. It includes masterclasses from the likes of Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Inc. on how to use their data tools.“It hasn’t always been understood why bringing technology to Cannes is so important,” said Wenda Harris Millard, vice chairman of MediaLink, which is organizing the program. “The tech guys are also understanding that creativity only makes them better and more useful.”Sorrell ReturnsAfter a contentious exit from WPP in 2018, the company’s outspoken founder Martin Sorrell is busy expanding his new ad firm S4 Capital Plc and will be back in the Cannes spotlight. Sorrell retains his traditional Friday slot on the main stage, where he’ll be in conversation with Marian Goodell, chief executive officer of the Burning Man cultural organization. He’ll also be chatting with Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple in an Irish pub. Sorrell is back on the acquisition trail, hunting for a data company to add to his nascent business.To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Mayes in London at jmayes9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas PfeifferFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.