What: ComScore has announced a strategic alliance with WPP’s data investment management division, Kantar to boost the companies’ cross-platform audience and ad measurement capabilities outside of the U.S. The agreement follows the intended acquisition by WPP of a substantial equity stake in comScore, worth about US$300 million giving WPP a total ownership of between 15% and 20%.
Why it matters: WPP will have a significant stake in ComScore.nComScore is the second audience-measurement firm that WPP has recently taken a stake in, last year the global ad conglomerate took a 16.7 percent stake in Oregon-based Rentrak, It remains to be seen what reaction major WPP competitors such as Havas, Publicis etc, have towards these audience measurement firms WPP has a stake in.
Reston-based company ComScore, whose measures of Web, mobile and other digital consumer behavior are often used to track how ad campaigns perform, has announced a strategic alliance with WPP‘s data investment management division, Kantar to boost the companies’ cross-platform audience and ad measurement capabilities outside of the U.S.
The alliance establishes a framework for the parties to bring the best of breed together from the two companies – their products, technology, data assets, research panels and relationships – to provide world class cross-media audience and campaign measurement capabilities.
The alliance establishes a framework for the parties to bring the best of breed together from the two companies – their products, technology, data assets, research panels and relationships
The agreement follows the intended acquisition by WPP of a substantial equity stake in comScore, worth about US$300 million, according to The Financial Times. Under the terms of this agreement, comScore will issue 4.45% in shares in exchange for the benefits of the strategic alliance, and acquisition of certain European Internet audience measurement assets. WPP will also purchase up to 15% shares of comScore at US $46.13 a share, giving WPP a total ownership stake in comScore of between 15-20%. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.
In addition, as part of the deal, comScore will get Kantar’s audience measurement business covering some markets in Europe. In these markets, Kantar and comScore will continue to provide the same level of seamless integration and data services.
As long as WPP’s tender offer is successful, it is expected to be accretive to comScore’s non-GAAP earnings per share in 2015. Following this deal, ComScore would maintain its independence and WPP executives would not play leadership roles or have a spot on ComScore’s board.
“This long-term, strategic alliance will simplify the deployment of global measurement capabilities and accelerate the creation of new services for the industry. The emerging mediascape points to a massive global opportunity waiting to be unlocked by cracking the code on cross-media audience and campaign measurement,” said comScore CEO Serge Matta. “We look forward to working together with Kantar to deliver new measurement products based on our complementary offerings in these markets.”
Kantar CEO Eric Salama commented, “By partnering with comScore and combining our respective strengths, we will integrate data and expertise to give our clients a new standard in measuring audiences and campaigns across multiple platforms. This continues our strategy of combining survey, panel and census data and putting digital at the heart of all we do.”
ComScore is the second audience-measurement firm that WPP has recently taken a stake in, as last year, the firm took a 16.7 percent stake in Oregon-based Rentrak, a company that measures viewing behavior of movies and television.The alliance will certainly help comScore compete against rival Nielsen, which launched a partnership with Adobe last October to measure all digital content consumption—including online TV and video—across the Web and apps.To the WPP, it means bolstering the digital and data services it offers to its clients.
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