Oct 3, 2017

WPP complicates Bain bid for Japanese ad agency

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell / Photo: AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Bain Capital has a possible roadblock in its $1.3 billion takeover offer for Japanese ad agency Asatsu-DK, as global ad giant WPP does not plan to tender its 24.7% stake, according to the FT.

Why it matters: This would be the first-ever buyout of a major ad company in Japan. It also would be the second time this year that Bain has run into problems in Japan with a target's non-Japanese partner (the first being Western Digital on the Toshiba memory chips deal). All fairly remarkable, given that U.S. private equity firms had written off Japan not too long ago.

Bottom line: WPP seems to be holding on for financial reasons rather than to capitalize on ADK's ambitions to grow with Japan's digital ad market. Japan, the third-largest ad market globally at roughly $41 billion, is expected to grow to $44 billion, largely due to accelerated growth in mobile advertising.

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Scoop: Amazon's local podcast play

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon is looking to invest in localized podcast content, like news and sports, sources tell Axios. Sports content is top of mind as the company plans to buy up more TV rights and have adjacent audio content for users.

Why it matters: Amazon sees a strategic advantage in podcasts by leveraging Alexa voice tech to help users discover personalized content.

The oil stakes of Trump vs. Biden

Reproduced from Rapidan Energy Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. oil production is in a steep decline, but one question is how much November's elections will affect how much it does — or doesn't — bounce back.

Why it matters: The powerful price and demand headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic are creating a financial crisis in the oil patch.

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