Kantar CEO in talks with banks for break up from WPP: Reports

Eric Salama is reportedly in talks with banks and private equity firms about a split from parent company WPP

Eric Salama, the Chief Executive of Kantar, is reportedly in talks with banks and private equity firms about a potential split from parent company WPP following the exit of Sir Martin Sorrell earlier this month.

According to a report in The Times, Salama is looking to make a £3.5bn management buyout of the data and market research company, which currently employs around 30,000 staff in 100 countries and last year achieved operating profits of £350m on £2.7bn of sales.

This follows reports of WPP facing a possible breakup after Sorrell quit as CEO of the company he founded more than three decades ago, amid allegations of financial misconduct. 

Analysts are also suggesting the sum is not as valuable as the individual parts with the sale of its main businesses amounting to £22bn, dwarfing its £15bn market cap.

Co-chief operating officers Mark Read and Andrew Scott, who along with executive chairman Roberto Quarta are helming WPP for now, have refuted these rumours in a recent memo they wrote to each WPP employee across the world.

A WPP spokesperson said in media reports that Quarta, Read and Scott are leading the business and reviewing the group's strategy and that it is too early to speculate about specific asset sales. Also, it has been made clear that they don't believe breaking up the group makes sense, said the spokesperson.
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