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This Just In | WPP Gains Control of IBOPE

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Topic: WPP closes deal for control of IBOPE

Source: Agência Estado

In fact, this went out over the PR wires yesterday. It is worth posting in order to build a database of cross references, eventually.

In a move suggesting that WPP wants to be an even bigger player in the global media and marketing research business, its Kantar unit has acquired a controlling stake in IBOPE, which is to Latin America what Nielsen is in the U.S.

I certainly hope it is not the “Brazilian Nielsen,” given some of the murkier episodes involving the former.

WPP Group is the parent of international public relations firms Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, Hill & Knowlton and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Terms were not disclosed, but WPP said it acquired a majority of IBOPE’s shares, and said the deal “further strengthens Kantar Media’s significant global footprint and expertise in all aspects of media measurement and evaluation and will enable Kantar to better link media and purchase data throughout the region.”

WPP said IBOPE Media’s senior management and company structure will remain unchanged. CEO Orlando Lopes will continue to run the company, joining the Kantar Media board and reporting to Kantar Media Chairman and CEO Andy Brown.

The move follows a recent deal in the U.S. in which WPP’s Kantar spun its U.S. media research arm in exchange for a strategic stake in Nielsen rival Rentrak.
Coincidentally, Wall Street analyst Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group this morning downgraded WPP’s stock from a “buy” to a “hold” rating, at least partly due to “its slower growing Kantar businesses.”

The release coming out of Brazil — source? — provides a bit more detail.

Ibope Media, a traditional marketing and TV audience measurement company, will assume a British accent: the WPP communications group, best known for subsidiary global PR agenices as Ogilvy, JWT and Young & Rubicam, will acquire the interest of the Montenegro family in a deal said to be worth more than R$ 200 million.

All three with an intensive presence in the Brazilian market. The dissolution of the family-run business is another developing trend.

The price will include not just control of  Ibope Media – – of which WPP was already a  44% partner –, but also the acquisition of 49% do Ibope Inteligência, the newest member of the group and responsible to market research and metrics designed to measure the influence of brands on consumers. 

Ibope Inteligência competes directly with such services as the U.S. firm Nielsen and Kantar, which is also controlled on a global scale by WPP. Kantar is present in nearly 100 countries, with more than 27,000 employees worldwide. 

O domínio do Ibope no setor de pesquisas no país e o crescimento da empresa para novos setores – como o de inteligência de mercado e o de e-commerce – motivaram o movimento do grupo britânico. “É uma empresa muito rentável”, disse uma fonte a par do assunto. Segundo o comunicado que o WPP divulgou ontem (17) o faturamento do Ibope Media nos 12 meses encerrados em 30 de setembro de 2013 somou R$ 392 milhões.

Embora seja dono de um grupo forte no setor de pesquisas no mundo, o WPP também avaliou que a presença do Kantar Worldpanel no país é discreta – e que seria necessário adquirir a marca nacional para realmente ganhar relevância no Brasil.

Fundado em 1942, o Ibope tem hoje escritórios em 16 países e emprega cerca de 2,2 mil pessoas, em várias nações latino-americanas e nos Estados Unidos.

Embora o negócio seja rentável, a família Montenegro teria decidido vendê-lo porque, nas mãos de um gigante global, a empresa teria mais fôlego para investir em expansão. O banco Itaú BBA ajudou a família a negociar a venda, que vinha sendo costurada há meses pelas partes.

Estratégia

Do lado do WPP, a área de pesquisas vem para reduzir cada vez mais a dependência do negócio de publicidade, pelo qual ainda é mais conhecido. A companhia pretende usar sua experiência global com o Kantar por aqui, mas sem abandonar a marca Ibope.

No Brasil, segundo fontes de mercado, o WPP também estaria em busca de uma agência de relações públicas. Recentemente, os grupos Publicis e Omnicom fizeram aquisições na área.