On Monday WPP was issuing a big No Comment to queries about its reported bid for a majority stake in Dunnhumby, the Tesco-owned shopper data tracker. The operation is valued at about $3 billion, according to Reuters.
Yesterday, however, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell confirmed that the holding company does in fact have an interest in the company. Business Insiderreported that Sorrell acknowledged WPP’s interest at a London business conference put on by Enders Analysis.
Sorrell reportedly told attendees that the Dunnhumby data is so rich that it often provides better knowledge and insights about certain brands than those brands have themselves.
Dunnhumby tracks billions of shopper purchases via loyalty cards at Tesco and other retail outlets. There are believed to be other bidders interested in the firm, although they haven’t been publicly identified.
Dunnhumby sells its shopper data to a roster of blue chip marketers including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Unilever and ConAgra.
Tesco, which put a For Sale sign on the data tracking unit earlier this year, wants to sell control (but retain a minority stake) in the shopper tracking firm in an effort to help improve its balance sheet.