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WPP buys out Quadra Advisory

08-September-2004
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WPP buys out Quadra Advisory

International communications behemoth WPP, which owns 50 per cent of Quadra Advisory, is buying out the remaining 50 percent equity in the strategic marketing consultancy. With this acquisition, Quadra Advisory, set up by the late management guru Shunu Sen, will become a fully-owned WPP company against its current status of associate company.

Confirming the WPP acquistion to exchange4media from London, David Stephens, WPP’s Representative Director in Quadra, said the new entity will be “formalised by the end of the year as regulatory issues are involved”. While there have been speculative reports on this buyout in a section of the financial press recently, this is the first official confirmation of the deal.

Quadra is currently owned 50 percent by WPP, 25 percent by late Shunu Sen’s wife, Indu Sen, and the balance 25 percent is with Suhel Seth, CEO, Equus. Stephens had met the Quadra board on August 24 to negotiate the deal. Besides Stephens, Indu Jain and Seth, the Quadra board includes PMS Sinha, non-executive Chairman, Bata India.. Mike Khanna is learnt to have been present at the negotiations as WPP Chairman Sir Martin Sorrel’s representative.

Stephens confirmed that Sukanya Kripalu will continue as CEO of Quadra, post-buyout. When asked about the name of Quadra Advisory when it becomes a WPP company, Stephens said no decision had yet been taken but the “Quadra name is very important to us”. Informed sources however claim that Quadra Advisory is likely to be christened Quadra-Kantar.

London-based Kantar Media Group is an integrated research, information and software company with operations in 30 countries. In India, Kantar has two companies in its fold: IMRB and Henley Centre. Quadra will be the third company under the Kantar umbrella. It is learnt that Thomas Puliyel, CEO, Kantar India, will oversee Quadra’s operations as it will be the third company under the Kantar umbrella.

When asked why WPP had gone in for this acquisition, Stephens said, “We felt a huge opportunity for consultancy in India. We will now be able to invest more heavily in the operations of marketing research.” He added, “We look to service some of the multinational companies with the highly talented team base in India as well as extend our services to new clients.”

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