WPP bosses have signalled a willingness to sell off underperforming parts of the global marketing empire but have ruled out a complete breakup following the departure of founder Sir Martin Sorrell, as shares surged almost 9% after a better-than-expected first quarter.
WPP is already running the rule over the future of market research arm Kantar, which continues to underperform, and has received an approach from the private capital group CVC. The market research division, which accounts for 15% of WPP’s profits and 18% of revenues, is valued at about £3.5bn.
“Having worked here 20 years or more and talking to clients and seeing what they want it doesn’t make sense to break it up,” said Mark Read. “That doesn’t mean we can’t look at specific asset sales”