WPP enriches its e-commerce directory with Newcraft

WPP is sticking to its e-commerce strategy, buying Dutch-based 155 stromg e-commerce consultancy Newcraft, despite its share price (along with most of its peers) languishing, valuing the Marcoms business once grew from £16bn to just over £8bn. Some analysts give the company an enterprise value – a measure of overall financial worth – of £13 billion.

NEWCRAFT

Newcraft’s global customers include Ahold Delhaize, Pon Holdings, Yakult and JDE Peet’s. It will be integrated with WPP’s Wunderman Thompson e-commerce offering. WPP claims to manage $40 billion in direct sales and $20 billion in market sales for these clients and employs 13,500 trade specialists in its branches.

WPP CEO Mark Read said, “As consumer behaviors and the use of new e-commerce channels continue to change at a rapid pace, brands need innovative solutions to reach customers and new audiences. As we continue to invest in areas of growth, Newcraft’s extensive experience in transforming the digital offerings of some of Europe’s largest companies will further strengthen our global commerce proposition and drive results for our customers.

Newcraft CEO and Founder Martijn Haanappel says: “We are very excited to start this new chapter. Looking back over the past 15 years, we are extremely proud of the strong company we have created: we have built very talented teams; a dynamic and open culture; and an impressive track record with our clients.

“By joining WPP and the Wunderman Thompson Network, we have found the perfect partner to start the next phase of our growth ambition. The combination of our digital acceleration capabilities with Wunderman Thompson’s industry-leading business expertise will undoubtedly lead to incredible opportunities for our employees and customers.

Targeted acquisitions in growth areas are undoubtedly a sound strategy for WPP, but Read and his team must be frustrated by the lackluster share price that leaves WPP vulnerable to an opportunistic bid.

Marilyn J. Hernandez