The Farm Group set to be sold to American rival this week

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Farm Group

Post production company The Farm Group, which has two bases in Manchester, is set to be sold to American rival Picture Shop this week.

Owner WPP is set to sell its 75% stake in the company, which is valued at about £50m, although it is unclear whether it will include the 25% owned by The Farm’s founders, Nicky Sargent and Vikki Dunn.

The Farm is an Emmy Award-winning post production house which works on shows including The X Factor and The Grand Tour. Farm North, which supplies bookings management, operational and creative staff for the edit suites and sports news studio galleries for the BBC, has been based at MediaCityUK for more than seven years.

Farm Manchester, the UK's largest regional post-production facility, opened earlier this year and occupies 23,000 sq ft adjoining the Old Granada Studio site in central Manchester. WPP has been the principal backer of the company for the last two decades.

Mark Read, who was appointed CEO of WPP in September 2018, is looking to simplify the company’s empire and identified The Farm as the fringe operation. He announced plans in December to cut 3,500 jobs and close, or merge, 180 offices globally.

Read said last week that WPP was “making progress” with its turnaround although like-for-like sales are expected to fall by between 1.5% and 2% this year.

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