Bloomberg

WPP plc agreed to buy Conexance, a French provider of data on consumer behavior, as the worlds largest advertising company seeks to expand in continental Europe in the wake of the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.

Conexance, based in Lille and Paris, uses a database of information from households and more than 500 contributing retailers to identify consumer behavior and attributes that are predictors of future purchases, WPP said in a statement. The company had sales of 5.9 million euros ($6.5 million) in 2015 and about 40 employees.

Retail data providers have been attracting buyer interest in the mid-market. HGGC has acquired online marketing research company Instantly Inc.; Summit Partners invested in retail Mi9 Retail; and Tyco International plc (NYSE: TYC) purchased ShopperTrak.

Following the U.K.’s June 23 EU referendum, businesses across Europe are adapting investment decisions and business plans to cope with a post-Brexit world. Advertising agencies have predicted a reduction in U.K. ad spending as a result of the vote and WPP chief executive officer Martin Sorrell has said leaving the EU will prompt the company to redouble its commitment to Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

London-based “WPP will place an even greater emphasis on growth in western continental Europe, which includes four of the group’s top 10 markets worldwide,” the company said in the statement. “This acquisition expands WPP’s digital offer in France and beyond.”

Additional reporting by Mergers & Acquisitions' Demitri Diakantonis.

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