Dentsu and WPP have undone several joint venture operations that date back to the 1980s through a stock swap. The value of the swap was not disclosed.
Dentsu Young & Rubicam and Wunderman Dentsu Inc. have become wholly owned subsidiaries of Dentsu as a result of this latest transaction. Previously, WPP held a 49% stake.
Also via the transaction, Dentsu's 51% share of Dentsu Sudler & Hennessey in Japan has been transferred to the WPP Group, which is also taking over Dentsu’s minority share in Dentsu Y&R in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Dentsu said that post-transaction Dentsu Y&R will be renamed Dentsu e3 Inc. (“envision,” “engage” and “empower), and Wunderman Dentsu will be renamed Dentsu Direct Solutions Inc.
WPP is dropping the “Dentsu” from the Y&R offices it is taking 100% control of in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, and Dentsu Sudler &Hennessy is being rebranded as Sudler.
The ventures were initially designed to provide Y&R (not yet owned by WPP) with access to Japan and other Asian markets, while Dentsu was provided access to Y&R expertise in markets outside Japan including Europe and the U.S.
In a meeting with analysts Monday, WPP’s new management indicated that it would be reassessing the firm’s entire portfolio with a sharp eye on its numerous minority stakes in various firms to see whether it still makes sense to retain all of those assets as currently structured.