Post house The Farm Group has clarified rumours about a possible sale of the company reported originally by Sky News.
Early reports suggested The Farm’s majority shareholder WPP was looking to sell its 75% stake in the company as part of a wider WPP strategy to reshape the company following Martin Sorrell’s departure as chief executive.
Televisual has learned from The Farm co-founder Nicky Sargent that although The Farm is looking for a new partner in the business, the process is being led by The Farm’s management and is targeted at a small and select group of possible investors.
“The Farm has NOT ‘been put up for sale by WPP’,” said Sargent. “On the contrary, The Farm’s management is seeking the best shareholder for the next 20 years, in a very targeted approach to a very small number of preferred financial investors. This process has been lead by The Farm’s management and NOT by WPP. We have always had an excellent relationship with WPP but now have exciting, international plans for The Farm and need to find the best partner.”
In an email to all staff, Farm CEO David Klafkowski said:
Yesterday there was a short news piece that suggested WPP were selling their shares in The Farm. This was part of a wider piece about WPP as part of the continuing interest and speculation about the company following Martin Sorrell’s departure. WPP didn’t confirm or deny the rumour.
We want to tell you the facts.
Earlier this year, The Farm’s management decided to explore the opportunities if we wanted to replace WPP as the largest shareholder. This process has been lead by The Farm, not WPP. The trigger to do this was the 20th birthday. Reflecting on the opportunities in the booming world of content, we want to make sure that the main shareholder shares our desires for growth in the future.
WPP has been a great sleeping partner, however The Farm will not lose any financial benefits should the relationship change.
On a day to day basis, any such change would not affect anyone. We are excited about the next 20 years and have been working to ensure that The Farm is in the right hands.
Thank you for all your amazing work this year. A company is only as good as its people and we have got the very best team .
We will be reaching out to talk to and reassure clients over the next few days. Nicky, Vikki and I are happy to answer any questions you may have – just call us. If your clients are curious let us know and we will contact them directly.
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