WPP confirms sale of stake in VCCP owner Chime

Sale comes four years after WPP and Providence Equity bought agency group for £374m.

VCCP: owned by Chime since 2005
VCCP: owned by Chime since 2005

WPP is selling its minority shareholding in Chime, the parent company of VCCP and CSM Sport & Entertainment.

The holding group announced this morning that it will sell its 24.85% stake to US private-equity company Providence Equity for £54.4m.

WPP would also receive "potential additional amounts based on the future value of Chime", the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

"The disposal is in line with WPP’s new strategy as set out in December 2018, a key element of which is to focus on its main areas of business and simplify its operations through the disposal of non-core assets," the statement added.

Lindsay Pattison, WPP’s chief transformation officer, represents the company as a director on the board of Chime.

The sale comes four years after WPP and Providence bought Chime for £374m. Chime was founded by Lord Bell, Margaret Thatcher’s former media advisor. WPP had already owned an 18% stake in Chime before the deal.

Chime, which acquired VCCP in 2005, increased its revenue by 14% in 2017 to £279.9m, according to its most recent financial disclosure, with a pre-tax profit of £21.6m (down 1.4% year on year).

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