WPP Scangroup acquires majority stake in Kantar TNS Kenya

15 May 2018 Authored by Consultancy.africa

WPP Scangroup – a marketing consulting services firm operating across Sub-Saharan Africa – has acquired a majority stake in another WPP Subsidiary firm: Kantar TNS. The move involves the acquisition of shares previously held by Russell Square Holdings and International Research and Marketing Group Holdings.

As part of the global WPP network of marketing firms, WPP Scangroup is a Nairobi-based firm offering services in the communications, PR, and branding domains. The firm, which is based in Kenya and listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, has an extensive scope of operations, spanning 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Scangroup, which was founded in 1996, operates with over a thousand employees on the continent – divided among the group’s long list of member firms, including Ogilvy & Maher, SCANAD, BluePrint Marketing, MediaCom Africa and a number of other marketing and PR agencies.

Having been operational in Africa for over two decades, the firm has indicated a desire to expand its operations, both in terms of geography and product offerings. For the latter, Scangroup is looking to add another dimension to its marketing services through the provision of market research and analysis, which it currently offers through research firm Kantar Millward Brown.

WPP Scangroup acquires majority stake in Kantar TNS Kenya

To this end, the firm has made a number of acquisitions in recent years, including Cavendish Square Holdings in 2013 and Experimental Marketing in 2014. Now, Scangroup has acquired a majority stake in Kantar TNS, which is the market research division of fellow WPP subsidiary firm Kantar.

The acquisition amounts to an 80% stake, 70% of which previously belonged to Russell Square Holdings, while 10% belonged to International Research and Marketing Group (which will continue to hold the remaining 20%). Kantar TNS’ strong presence across Kenya and Nigeria will offer Scangroup reinforcement in what are among the biggest markets on the continent.

Established in 1988 in Kenya, Kantar TNS specialises in market research, and leverages its analytical capabilities to offer clients with strategies for entry and growth into the complex and diverse African markets. Kantar TNS' clients include firms from within Kenya as well as multinational corporations looking to capitalise on emerging markets.

Commenting on the acquisition, Chief Executive of Scangroup Bharat Thakrar said, “The focus on research and data-driven operations perfectly fits our goal of providing horizontal, integrated communications services and products across the Sub-Saharan region. This deal increases WPP Scangroup’s presence and capability, enabling it to build a leading position in the market research business.”

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