WPP has initiated “Plan B” following the Brexit vote by acquiring French data marketing group Conexance for an undisclosed amount as part of plans to place greater emphasis on growth in Western Continental Europe.
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell was a key opponent of the UK leaving the EU but, never one to let setbacks get in the way of the global march of the marketing services group, he has acted swiftly to bring in the new strategy.
Claimed to be the “French DunnHumby”, Conexance is a data co-operative covering consumer transactions in France, and claimed to be a leader in providing proprietary statistical modelling to identify consumer behaviours and attributes that are strong predictors of future purchases.
Following the acquisition, Conexance will work closely with WPP’s data alliance companies Wunderman, Kantar and GroupM.
Conexance is based in Lille and Paris and employs about 40 people. Unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2015 were €5.9 million, with gross assets of €5.4m.
In a statement, WPP said: “As a result of the UK’s referendum decision to leave the European Union, WPP will place an even greater emphasis on growth in Western Continental Europe, which includes four of the Group’s top 10 markets worldwide: Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
“This acquisition expands WPP’s digital offer in France and beyond. WPP digital revenues were over US$7bn in 2015, representing over 37% of the group’s total revenues of $19bn.
“WPP has set a target of 40-45% of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years. In France, WPP companies, including associates, generate revenues of over US$700m and employ around 5,000 people.”
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