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WPP reportedly preparing for £2bn swoop on Tesco’s data division Dunnhumby

Advertising group WPP is reportedly preparing to make a £2bn swoop for the Tesco- owned data operations business Dunnhumby - just one month after splashing out £800m on an IBM contract to upgrade its global technology platform, enabling the launch of new digital services.

WPP, Tesco

Best known for its work in establishing Tesco Clubcard Dunnhunby was founded by husband and wife team Clive Humby and Edwina Dunn in 1989 and serves clients ranging from Procter & Gamble to Coca-Cola, Diageo and GlaxoSmithKline.

In recent years WPP has grown its revenue from data marketing operations, reporting a 3.9 per cent increase in data management revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013, while total revenues for the year reached £11bn.

Tesco’s present travails have heaped pressure on new boss Dave Lewis to balance the books by offloading assets, most recently through the rumoured sale of Blinkbox. Scenting weakness a number of potential suitors are said to be circling, amongst them several private equity groups including Clayton Dubilier & Rice and TPG.

Continuing its New Year shopping spree WPP is also leading a $250m investment in Bruin Sports Capital, the sports marketing firm, to establish a preferred partnership arrangement which will see its operating companies granted access to sporting media and sponsorship opportunities.