WPP share price rises as company enters sports rights sector

on May 19, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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WPP Plc (LON:WPP) has entered the lucrative field of sports rights, setting up a new agency. Separately, the company’s wholly-owned Grey Healthcare unit acquired a minority interest in PARx Solutions, Inc.

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WPP’s share price has advanced in afternoon trade, having added 1.03 percent to 1,576.00p as of 13:32 BST, slightly outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index. The company’s shares have gained nearly 30 percent over the past year.
WPP announced in a statement today that its media-buying arm GroupM was expanding its sports and entertainment offering under a new brand, ESP. The brand is made up of two separate businesses, ESP Properties and ESP Brands, which will be part of GroupM. WPP explained that ESP Properties would be formed through new hires, the integration of existing GroupM business units including leading sponsorship agency IEG, as well as the acquisition of London-based sports marketing agency Two Circles.
WPP’s chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell noted in the statement that the new agency would build on the blue-chip company’s investment in Bruin Sports Capital which has raised $250 million in equity capital to buy up sports rights.
In a separate statement, WPP announced that its wholly-owned operating company Grey Healthcare Group had acquired a minority interest in PARx Solutions, Inc for an undisclosed amount. The FTSE 100 ad giant noted in the statement that the move was in line with its strategy to invest in digital markets such as the US.
WPP’s latest acquisitions follow the company’s quarterly update last month when the blue-chip group posted a 2.5-percent growth in like-for-like net sales and noted that its first-quarter profits and margin were “well above target”.
As of 14:40 BST, Tuesday, 19 May, WPP PLC ORD 10P share price is 1,580.50p.

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