Ad-hoc financial announcement: COVID-19

01 April 2020

Summer (BC) Holdco B S.à r.l.
€1,000.0 million 5.750% Senior Secured Notes due 2026 (the “Senior Secured Notes”)
(144A Note: ISIN: XS2067265129, Common Code: 206726512
Regulation S Note: ISIN: XS2067263850, Common Code: 206726385)

Summer (BC) Holdco A S.à r.l.
€428.0 million 9.250% Senior Notes due 2027 (the “Senior Notes”)
(144A Note: ISIN: XS2067265475, Common Code: 206726547
Regulation S Note: ISIN: XS2067265392, Common Code: 206726539)

COVID-19: Update on Business Impact & Mitigation Measures

Summer (BC) Holdco B S.à r.l. (“Holdco B”), as issuer of its Senior Secured Notes, and Summer (BC) Holdco A S.à r.l. (“Holdco A”), as issuer of its Senior Notes, hereby announce an update to investors in light of the ongoing uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As with all businesses, the Group is being impacted by COVID-19 and continues to monitor and take measures to mitigate the effects of the global challenges presented by the virus in several respects, in particular:

  • Personnel Health and Safety: Our first priority is the safety of our people and the resilience of the business; operations in most of our locations have moved or are moving to remote working; this transition could have some impact on our ability to deliver productively and to our usual standards until we implement corrective measures;
  • Financial Impact: As developments related to COVID-19 rapidly evolve, creating reliable forecasts has become increasingly challenging and it is too early to accurately determine the ultimate impact of the virus on the Group’s financial performance. From an individual business unit perspective:
    • 49% of Group EBITDA is in Data businesses (Worldpanel, Media, principally TV Audience Measurement, and Profiles), which are mostly syndicated and recurring and therefore, whilst not immune, should be more resilient to external shocks;
    • 39% of Group EBITDA is in Insights (Brand and Other Domains), which is mostly a custom project business; while certain products can be recurring, this business is more influenced by external macro events and in particular could be impacted by both the ongoing ability to deliver to clients and also from the decrease in customer demand;
    • 12% of Group EBITDA is in Specialists (Health, Public and Consulting): within these businesses, Health Research is the most resilient, while Public, which has several large face to face projects, and Consulting can be more impacted by external macro environment.
  • Mitigating Actions: The senior management team is implementing a series of mitigation measures, including both top-down and targeted country-by-country actions on our costs, cashflow and working capital.

These measures are an acceleration of the transformation plan that had started to be implemented in the business after closing and that was a core part of the investment thesis. In addition, the senior management team has extended the scope of the transformation plan and is looking at additional short term measures to preserve cash and protect margins.

The Group’s liquidity position remains healthy, with approximately $700 million in cash (pro forma for further acquisition closings of the remaining portion of the Kantar business), including the liquidity available from the $400 million RCF that has been drawn in March for prudence.

The Group will provide a further update on COVID-19 impact when it issues its 2019 financial results in May.

Further enquiries may be directed to:

Existing loan investors: Candice De Reyck, Relationship Manager, Wilmington Trust (London) Limited (via Debtdomain) 

All other enquiries: Peter Russell, Treasurer, Kantar;

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This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to certain of our current expectations and projections about future events. These statements reflect management's beliefs and expectations and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual outcomes to differ materially from any expected future outcomes expressed or implied by the forward-looking statement. The information contained in this announcement is subject to change without notice and, except as required by applicable law, we do not assume any responsibility or obligation to update publicly or review any of the forward-looking statements contained in it. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as at the date of this announcement.