WPP’s radical tidy up continues with sale of contentious retail business Triad

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WPP CEO Mark Read (and, no doubt, his dealmaking COO Andrew Scott) haven’t broken up for the Christmas holidays yet, they’ve just unloaded contentious data acquisition Triad Retail Media to Walmart-owned Sam’s Club.

Last month it emerged that WPP, which bought the Florida-based digital retail business in 2016 for $300m, was suing its former owners for $120m, claiming revenues were overstated. It’s not known if the suit will now lapse or what Sam’s Club paid.

WPP, whose finances are looking rather better than they were, following the sale of 60 per cent of research business Kantar to Bain Capital, has also commenced the first £300m tranche of its £950m share buyback following the sale to Bain. It will keep the remaining £1.2bn to pay down debt. Share buybacks support the share price by reducing the number in issue.

There is clearly some value in Triad, which claims to be the global leader in selling to shoppers, at least as far as Sam’s Club and Walmart are concerned. Walmart is busily beefing up its data capabilities to combat Amazon in the US.

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