Private-equity group KKR is in talks with WPP to acquire a stake in the holding company’s PR agency FGS Global, according to reports.
The Financial Times reported today that the deal could happen next week and would put a value of $1.4 billion on the PR firm. Sources familiar with the situation confirmed later in the day the accuracy of both the timing and the valuation, but also cautioned that talks are likely to continue into the weekend.
WPP is expected to retain majority control of the agency under the planned transaction, per sources, while KKR is expected to acquire about 30% of the company. Employees will retain a reduced stake as well, per sources.
Prior to the KKR interest there had been talk of a potential IPO for the firm. With KKR buying in at an estimated multiple of 15 times pre-tax earnings, an IPO would appear to be on hold for now. That could emerge a few years down the road as one of several potential exit strategies for the investment firm.
FGS Global was formed in 2021 when WPP merged Finsbury Glover Hering and Sard Verbinnen & Co. Practice areas include corporate reputation, crisis management, government affairs/advocacy and transaction and financial communications.