WPP Invests In Over-The-Top TV Service

WPP has agreed to acquire a minority stake in FlowNetwork, a new Swedish over-the-top television service delivering TV shows and other content via the Internet. Terms were not disclosed.

The holding company said the deal reflects its strategy of “developing its integrated services in fast-growing and important markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities including digital media.”

The service also supplies Sweden’s regional newspapers with technology and content. FlowNetwork is co-producer of the new Swedish drama series "Gasmamman."

It’s the fourth M&A transaction by WPP this year and follows last month’s “significant equity stake” in comScore that is part of a broader strategic alliance with the digital media measurement firm. In January the holding company took the lead in a syndicate investing $250 million in Bruin Sports Capital, a global sports marketing firm launched by George Pyne, the former president of IMG Worldwide’s global sports and entertainment business.



The holding company made 65 M&A deals last year that contributed a little more than 3% to 2014 revenues. In a call with analysts Monday to discuss 2014 results, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said acquisitions in 2015 will contribute approximately 2% to revenues.

“There’s a significant acquisition pipeline” that WPP will tap into this year, Sorrell said, noting that the firm’s M&A focus will be on digital- and data-related companies.


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