Growth Portfolio: WPP AUNZ Ltd (ASX: WPP)

Published 02-JUN-2016 00:00 A.M.

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2 minute read

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Overview: WPP AUNZ Ltd ("WPP", "the Company"), formerly STW Communications Limited, is an Australian services company focused on advertising, marketing, and communications. The company’s advertising channels include television, radio, print, outdoor and electronic. In April 2016, the Company merged with the Australian and New Zealand business of WPP plc ("WPP") which forms an entity that generates Pro-forma sales of ~$850million pa.

Catalysts: The merger of STW and WPP combines two of the largest participants in the local marketing industry and is expected to yield cost savings of $15m and more favourable debt facilities. While STW as a single entity has posted six consecutive years of revenue growth, merging with WPP should increase competitive barriers further. Successful integration of the two individual businesses and consolidation of the industry is expected to be the primary drivers.

Hurdles: With Federal election campaigns underway, the Company may be challenged maintaining current utilisation rates, which could represent a cyclical peak. The merger is subject to integration risks and there is no guarantee that synergies will arise, nor that cost savings will occur. Whilst the merger reduces balance sheet leverage to ~2x EBITDA, these borrowings may constrain the Company’s ability to expand.

Investment View: WPP offers profitable exposure to the domestic marketing and advertising industry. The merger represents a major rationalisation of the domestic ad services industry and synergies could drive margin growth. Integration risks, balance sheet gearing, and post-election market momentum are principal risks. New debt facilities provide WPP with sufficient working capital to unlock value from the transaction. Attracted to the competitive position of this newly formed entity, we initiate coverage with a ‘buy’ recommendation.



General Information Only

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (S3, ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’) (CAR No. 433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information and is for informational purposes only. Any advice is general advice only. Any advice contained in this article does not constitute personal advice and S3 has not taken into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please seek your own independent professional advice before making any financial investment decision. Those persons acting upon information contained in this article do so entirely at their own risk.

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S3 and its associated entities may hold investments in companies featured in its articles, including through being paid in the securities of the companies we provide commentary on. We disclose the securities held in relation to a particular company that we provide commentary on. Refer to our Disclosure Policy for information on our self-imposed trading blackouts, hold conditions and de-risking (sell conditions) which seek to mitigate against any potential conflicts of interest.

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The information contained in this article is current as at the publication date. At the time of publishing, the information contained in this article is based on sources which are available in the public domain that we consider to be reliable, and our own analysis of those sources. The views of the author may not reflect the views of the AFSL holder. Any decision by you to purchase securities in the companies featured in this article should be done so after you have sought your own independent professional advice regarding this information and made your own inquiries as to the validity of any information in this article.

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