Print Published 11th Sep 2017, 14:51

ComScore CFO replaced, SEC filings delayed further, $110m litigation settlement

comScore, the US audience measurement company in which WPP has a 19.5% shareholding, has replaced its chief financial officer David Chemerow, announced a further extended delay in filing updated financial reports for periods 2013 to 2017, and is proposing to settle various shareholder class actions at a cost of $110 million of which $27.2 million will be reimbursed by comScore’s insurers.

The impact of the announcement on comScore’s financial condition has yet to be assessed, but the company has the option to settle its $82.8 million net liability in either cash or comScore shares.

Four weeks ago comScore acknowledged that the restatement of its incorrect financial reports covering four years from 2013 would be more extensive than previously anticipated (see comScore’s financial restatement to be more extensive than expected).

Until now WPP has consistently declined to take a view on the value of its comScore investment, arguing that it wished to see the outcome of the financial restatements before coming to a conclusion.  Such a stance is likely to become increasingly untenable, given WPP’s own gloomy revenue predictions and its declining share price (see WPP downgrades revenue predictions: currencies help first half).