April 28, 2018 / 10:51 AM / a year ago

Boss of WPP's Kantar in talks over $4.8 bln buyout of unit, Times says

LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - The boss of Kantar, the data and market research division of advertising giant WPP, has been sounding out backers for a potential 3.5 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) management buyout of the unit, The Times reported.

Without citing sources, the newspaper said Eric Salama has been in talks with banks and private equity firms since Martin Sorrell stood down as WPP chief executive two weeks ago.

Sorrell’s exit after 33 years triggered speculation that WPP could be broken up.

The Times said Salama would ideally want the WPP businesses to remain together but would be keen to lead a buyout if investors push for the sale of Kantar.

A spokesman for WPP declined to comment.

WPP will on Monday publish first quarter results - its first set of numbers since Sorrell quit. ($1 = 0.7254 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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