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WPP boosts European data business with Conexance buy

WPP has bought Conexance which it says operates the leading data co-operative for consumer transactions in France.

Conexance is a database marketing with proprietary statistical modeling to identify consumer behaviours and attributes to predict future purchases. Conexance’s data cooperative includes more than 25m individual household buyers and 32m digital profiles generated by one billion business transactions from more than 500 data-contributing retailers and merchants.

Conexance is based in Lille and Paris and employs about 40 people. Unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2015 were €5.9 million, with gross assets of €5.4 million. Conexance will work with WPP’s ‘Data Alliance’ companies Wunderman, Kantar and GroupM.

The buy ticks two boxes for WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell and Kantar CEO Eric Salama. One is more and more data: in some ways Conexance looks like a French version of Dunnhumby, the Tesco research offshoot which WPP was interested in buying when it was briefly put up for sale last year.

The second is an increased emphasis on continental Europe in the wake of the Brexit vote. WPP clearly thinks that some big companies will relocate from London if Brexit goes through and so an even bigger European presence is required. In France, WPP companies and associates generate revenues of over US$700 million and employ around 5,000 people.

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