In a move suggesting that WPP wants to be an even bigger player in the global media and marketing research business, its Kantar unit has acquired a controlling stake in IBOPE, which is to Latin America what Nielsen is in the U.S.
Terms were not disclosed, but WPP said it acquired a majority of IBOPE’s shares, and said the deal “further strengthens Kantar Media’s significant global footprint and expertise in all aspects of media measurement and evaluation and will enable Kantar to better link media and purchase data throughout the region.”
WPP said IBOPE Media’s senior management and company structure will remain unchanged. CEO Orlando Lopes will continue to run the company, joining the Kantar Media board and reporting to Kantar Media Chairman and CEO Andy Brown.The move follows a recent deal in the U.S. in which WPP’s Kantar spun its U.S. media research arm in exchange for a strategic stake in Nielsen rival Rentrak.
Coincidentally, Wall Street analyst Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group this morning downgraded WPP’s stock from a “buy” to a “hold” rating, at least partly due to “its slower growing Kantar businesses.”