I woke up this morning to two emails announcing private equity deals in the marketing communications sector. WPP are selling 60% of Kantar to Bain (not a complete surprise given recent leaks) and Phoenix are investing in 1000heads.
These deals come on the back of Livingbridge's investment in brainlabs and LDC's investment in MSQ earlier this year.
So it seems private equity has very much joined the marcomms M&A party. Just in time too, as I'm not sure I can stomach another article on the impact of the consultancies on the market.
I hear private equity was the talk of Cannes, at least in M&A circles. So why the interest? Private equity has previously shied away from businesses purely focussed on talent - not enough to get their teeth into. However, now that agencies increasingly have data and technology as key assets, interest has been piqued.
Roll on the commentary about the challenges that creatives face from number driven investor directors...
"In Bain Capital, we have a partner who shares our ambition, brings relevant expertise and – with WPP – can help us accelerate our growth and impact for clients. We are focused on delivering ‘human understanding at scale and speed’ and the ‘best of Kantar’ more consistently. We will do so by investing more in talent and by becoming a more technology-driven solutions provider."