Tag Archives: Aegis Group

Big bids: a sign that the recessionary cycle is coming to an end?

For no obvious reason Britain’s recessions come in roughly 10 year cycles at the start of each decade.  And the latest was no exception.  So what is it that has prompted companies like Dentsu, WPP and Publicis to go an acquisition spree when business is at its most depressed?

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Dentsu’s Aegis bid: a brave decision

Dentsu’s planned takeover of Aegis Group is what in Yes Minister parlance might be described as a “brave decision”.

Dentsu’s track record has been one of solid success in providing traditional marketing services in its home territory of Japan– leaving aside the Tsunami and the economic recession – but of less success when it has embarked on sizeable acquisitions outside that comfort zone.

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Who will buy the last big digital independent?

With AKQA’s shareholders extracting a juicy $540 million from WPP, it’s hardly surprising that other would-be acquirers are swarming round the only other obvious large candidate likely to be for sale – LBi International – like bees round a honeypot.

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Why is WPP so in love with research?

It’s always been a bit of puzzle to understand why WPP leapt head-long into the research business with such enthusiasm some years ago.  All the evidence from other large marketing groups has indicated that it’s a hard business to manage really profitably, although why that is so has been equally difficult to comprehend.

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Let’s find something to cheer about!

With nearly everyone going around long-faced, fearing another recessionary dip before we’ve even recovered from the current one, it seemed worthwhile to take a look at what has actually been happening among listed UK marketing companies that have recently published their half year reports.

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Congratulations WPP – your share price has recovered to its 2001 level

It may seem hard to believe, but today we celebrate the resurgence of WPP’s share price to the level at which it stood 10 years ago – on 12 January 2001 or thereabouts.   Yes, it’s a fact.  WPP’s share price has remained depressed for a whole decade.

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Why buy small?

There’s been a lot of acquisition activity in the last month, but curiously not much money has been changing hands.

This week WPP’s Grey network acquired a digital agency in Singapore that boasted annual revenue of about £0.6 million.  Hardly worth the effort, one might suppose.  Last week The Engine Group acquired a New York youth marketing agency that employs just 30 people.  Publicis, Aegis and Havas have also been on the acquisition trail.  And lots more deals were announced without any hard information about their size, but with superficial indications that most of them were small.

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Why many marcoms companies may lack stock market appeal

The reluctance of shares in many UK marcoms companies that are listed on the stock exchange to follow the encouraging upward trend experienced by the FTSE All-Share Index over recent months will reinforce the view that the stock market is not the best place for entrepreneurs in the industry to realise the wealth they have created.   And that is a pity.

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Have aggregators had their day?

A few years ago it was fashionable for entrepreneurs in the marketing services industry to search out a company – probably already listed on the stock exchange – and transform it into a mini WPP Group by acquiring as many businesses as possible involved in supplying marketing services of one sort or another.

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The future is digital, but less profitably?

Hidden amongst the small print of financial announcements from various agencies in the last couple of weeks were a number of hints that, while the advent of digital is transforming the shape of the marketing industry, it is not necessarily helping to maintain its profitability.

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