WPP has completed the transaction to sell 60 percent of Kantar, its global data, research, consulting analytics business, to Bain Capital Private Equity. While WPP chief executive officer Mark Read said the deal closed more quickly than had been expected, contracts on about 10 percent of the Kantar business will not be finalized until early next year. WPP plans to use about 60 percent of the proceeds, which are expected to be about $3.1 billion, to reduce its debt. The remaining 40 percent are to be distributed to shareholders. Read noted that sale of the Kantar assets completed WPP’s disposal program, calling it “a major step in simplifying and focusing WPP.” Retaining a 40 percent share, he added, will allow WPP to “participate in the future growth of Kantar as well as allowing our clients to continue to benefit from Kantar’s services.”


Nowa Empower, an agency headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, has joined the PR World Alliance. Nowa Empower was formed early this year, following the merger of Nowa Executive, Long Tall Sally and Comvision. Led by long-term PRWA partner Lars-Ola Nordqvist, the agency is part of Nowa Group, which includes agencies and companies that provide branding, PR, graphic design, media buying, special events and other services. “Joining PRWA as the partner firm representing the Nordics represents a significant international marketing opportunity for Nowa Empower,” said agency CEO Anders Wallqvist.


Burrelles has announced a partnership with social media listening and analytics company Talkwalker. The partnership will provide Burrelles’ clients access to Talkwalker’s products and services as part of the Burrelles’ media monitoring and analytics platform. Talkwalker uses AI-powered technology to monitor and analyze online conversations in real time across social networks, news websites, blogs and forums in 187 languages. “Talkwalker’s sophisticated technology and commitment to customer service mirror Burrelles’ core values and forward focus, and we are confident this partnership will prove invaluable as we embark on our next chapter,” said Burrelles CEO Chaz Waggoner.