The acquisition of Sercon by WPP’s 141Worldwide, which had run into rough weather, has finally got the approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). It grants approval for the investment and acquisition of equity by WPP and its subsidiaries into Sercon. The delay in the clearance took place as Rediffusion DY&R and its arm Showdiff had raised an objection quoting that such an acquisition would jeopardise their interests. The process of final merger of businesses will commence with immediate effect.
The new entity, called 141 Sercon, will be headed by Vijay Singh, who takes the role of Managing Director while Rajesh Ghatge is the Executive Director. Sercon has been the brainchild of Singh and Ghatge. They will work closely with Subhash Kamath, Chief Executive Officer, Bates David Enterprise.
Talking about the acquisition, Kamath said, “WPP realised quite early that marketing services would be the future opportunity for growth. We can’t rely only on advertising for such kind of growth. Rather than just grow organically, its part of WPP India’s growth plan to make sure right partners join in through acquisitions and mergers to realise that vision.”
Sercon brings to table tremendous expertise in the space of B2B and digital medium, while 141 Worldwide brings its rich experience in the B2C and activation space.
Singh said, “When we were looking at options of partnering as an independent agency, Bates’ approach to activation, and its already large offering in place and synergies in the B2B space made sense to us. The other was that we actually had an opportunity to be part of a 360-degree solution which provided ample opportunity to go forward in the marketing services space.”