The rumours have been in the market for a long time now, but it is finally official. Advertising behemoth WPP has just gained more muscle in the Indian market. It announced that its operating company, Bates Asia, had agreed to acquire, subject to regulatory approvals, a majority stake in Enterprise Nexus Communications Pvt Ltd. The merged entity will be called Bates Enterprise.
Under the agreement, Mohammed Khan, founder of Enterprise Nexus, will assume the role of Executive Chairman, while Subhash Kamath will be CEO of Bates Enterprise.
The Bates Enterprise combine will have offices in all the main metros of India and offer a complete range of communication services. Apart from the main advertising business, the Bates India group will also include 141 Worldwide for through-the-line marketing services as well as public relations and exhibitions.
Commenting on the merger, Ranjan Kapur, Non-executive Chairman, Bates Asia, said, ‘This is a perfect fit – no conflicts, perfect management and creative match, and a growth in both geographical spread and 360 offerings. I am very bullish on the future of Bates Enterprise, as it will now be called.”
Khan affirmed, “The new combined agency will offer a powerful alternative to major advertisers. It’s a very important development in what has been a very exciting career.”
Agreeing with him, Kamath said, “It’s a great opportunity to create something really fantastic. It’s an awesome team, terrific brands, and we’re really looking forward to doing some path-breaking work for our clients. We’re all extremely charged up.”
This latest development continues WPP’s strategy of developing its network in fast growing markets and sectors. In India, the WPP Group includes JWT, O&M, Rediffusion DY&R and Grey Worldwide. The merged entity now becomes the fifth WPP agency network from among the top 10 in India.