wpp.com investment in Inferentia, an Italian e-business consultancy

2 Aug 2000

WPP announces that wpp.com, its interactive and New Economy parent company, has made an investment – amounting to 4% of the equity - in Inferentia SpA ('Inferentia'), an Italian e-business consulting and services company, which launched its IPO yesterday on the Borsa Italiana SpA. Italy is the fastest-growing internet market in Western Europe.

At the placing price of 46 euros, Inferentia was valued at 190.7 million euros, which in turn values wpp.com's stake at 7.6million euros. At the close of business last night, Inferentia’s shares were trading at 53.5 euros which values the company at 221.8million euros and wpp.com's stake at 8.9million euros.

The Milan-based company reported revenues of 5.7million euros in 1999 and is expected to be profitable in 2000.

Gruppo Inferentia – of which Inferentia is the core company - is the leading Italian independent company specialising in e-business consulting and services. It provides clients with a wide range of integrated e-commerce services, essential for success in the New Economy. These include e-business strategy, design and development, e-marketing (through partner company Web Media Center (“WMC”)), e-publishing (through partner company Orchestra) and e-sourcing (through eFluxa). WMC already collaborates with MindShare, WPP’s global media investment management company.

Gruppo Inferentia’s clients include Altavista Italia, Banca di Roma, Ciaoweb, Corriere della Sera, Ferrero, Il Sole 24 Ore and Royal Insurance, among other leading corporations.

This investment continues WPP's objective of developing its new media interests both through the strengthening of established businesses and directly through new ventures.