South African marketing agency, Quirk, has sold a controlling stake of its business to Nasdaq and JSE-listed marketing firm, WPP.
The company announced the deal on its website on Tuesday (6 May).
“WPP has been watching Quirk for a while and we feel strongly that now is the right time for us to join forces”, said WPP CEO, Martin Sorrell.
“As a group, Quirk has demonstrated consistent growth and creativity way above the market in both South Africa and the UK, and we look forward to helping them bring their unique brand of insight and innovation to our global client base.”
According to the statement, the investment aligns well with WPP’s strategy of developing its services in fast-growing and important markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities in digital media.
“I feel like we have agreed an incredible deal, and one which will really take our business forward,” said Quirk founder and CEO Rob Stokes.
Quirk’s unaudited consolidated revenues for the year ended February 2014 were approximately R140 million, with gross assets at the same date of approximately R68 million.
WPP’s digital revenues (including associates) were well over US$6 billion in 2013, representing almost 35% of the Group’s total revenues of US$17.3 billion.
WPP has set a target of 40-45% of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years.
Quirk currently has five agencies in Africa and London, including a presence in Kenya. Its clients include Distell, Capitec, Woolworths, Hollard, Makro, Unilever, Caltex and Tyco.
Through the acquisition, Quirk says its clients will benefit from increased access to people, intellectual property, technology and global thinking that its affiliation with WPP will facilitate.
The transaction is pending regulatory approval.