Nov 21, 2017

WPP gives in on ADK sale to Bain Capital

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell. Photo: Pierre Metivier / Flickr cc

WPP, the world's largest advertising agency, has agreed to sell its 24.7% stake in Japanese agency Asatsu-DK (ADK) to private equity firm Bain Capital for $1.35 billion.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two decades plus relationship between WPP and ADK, and comes after months of feuding between the three parties. It also is the first-ever buyout of a major Japanese ad agency.

Tensions escalated when WPP threatened to impose legal action to block the sale, by not tendering its shares. The agency later agreed to increase its stake in the company if Bain would pull its offer. It's unclear why WPP abandoned that stance.

ADK argued the WPP relationship no longer made fiscal or strategic sense. According to Reuters, it wanted to focus more heavily on mobile video, a growth area across most markets, but particularly Asia. According to eMarketer's latest forecast, Japan is already the world's third-largest ad market $41 billion.

Per Reuters, ADK says WPP and Bain can now discuss potentially letting WPP buy 25% of the entity that would own ADK. The aim would be to prevent WPP from being totally forced out of the company.

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America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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