In-depth Forum transcripts provide a competitive advantage on a PE deal

  • Private Equity
  • TMT
  • Europe

Kantar Group is a £2.5bn, UK-headquartered data, insights and consulting company operating across four business units. It has more than 30,000 employees working in 100 countries in various research disciplines, including social media monitoring, advertising effectiveness, consumer and shopper behaviour and public opinion. In the 3rd quarter of 2019, WPP announced plans to carve out Kantar as part of its group restructuring strategy, with valuation expectations ranging from £3-4bn. The auction process started in early fall 2018. PE and management consulting firms with significant interest sought to understand the business in more detail. They specifically wanted to look at market opportunities within the smaller parts of the business which had been growing faster than the larger, Insights business.

Third Bridge’s coverage of one the largest European PE deals this year was a key piece in our research process. Forum Interviews enabled us to get up to speed on the company before our competitors and enabled us to extract critical insights ahead of meetings with sponsors.

Top 3 Global Management Consulting Firm

Research Insights

Third Bridge Forum analysed Kantar’s business by mapping out the four different divisions and addressing key questions around company structure, customer perception, buying patterns and competitive dynamics. Third Bridge looked at market opportunity by segment and identified the value creation opportunities with existing PE-backed portfolio companies, including the stability of the company and the margin dynamics.

Third Bridge interviewed more than 100 global specialists, including former senior managers and experts throughout the media value chain. Interviews focused on Kantar’s individual business units, such as Kantar Media, to help clients understand the opportunity for each unit and ultimately build an overall equity story. Some of the insights extracted included suggestions as to how Kantar could, after spinning off from WPP, spend more on research and development on a recurring basis, acquire some of the latest capture technologies and more readily engage using data from Google, Facebook and Amazon.


Over the nine months preceding the transaction, Third Bridge Forum supported the efforts of management consulting firms engaged in due diligence and provided exclusive insights on Kantar to bulge bracket PE investors looking at the deal. On 12 July, 2019, Bain Capital announced its acquisition of a 60% stake in Kantar.