International Marketing and Sales Group (IMSG) Plc, the emerging markets focused sales and marketing company, has acquired a majority stake in Candid Marketing. IMSG will purchase the entire issued share capital in multiple tranches for an undisclosed amount, the consideration at each stage to be linked to the enterprise value of the company.
Commenting on the acquisition, Gregory Thain, Chairman and CEO of IMSG, said, “Candid Marketing is an important building block in our long-term strategy for the Group in India and emerging markets as a whole. Our decision to acquire Candid Marketing was reached after researching over 60 possible targets and engaging in discussions with 25 Indian businesses. Candid Marketing is a fast-growing company with a great track record and a portfolio of high profile brands. It has an entrepreneurial culture, which fits well with our own. I am delighted to welcome them to the Group and I look forward to reporting on progress.”
IMSG intends to use the acquisition of Candid Marketing as a platform for the continued expansion of its operations in India and will explore further acquisition opportunities in the region. Candid Marketing will provide the means by which IMSG will introduce its international products, including Key Account Merchandising (KAM) and Storewars in the Indian market.
Samarjit Singh, founder and Managing Director of Candid Marketing, said, “We are glad to be associated with IMSG. We are sure that this excellent fit with IMSG will bring tremendous benefits to Candid Marketing and its customers.”
He further said, “With strong cultural similarities in the two organisations and a complementary mix of products and services, we believe that Candid Marketing has the potential to become a very exciting growth business in the IMSG Group. We will work closely with IMSG to achieve a smooth integration, with emphasis on realising the benefits of the many synergies between the two businesses.”
The final acquisition of the remaining shares in Candid will take place in 2010, subject to earlier completion in certain circumstances. The purchase price for these shares will again be based on a multiple of the company’s net profit after independent International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) audit.
Gregory Thain, Executive Chairman of IMSG, will join the Board as Chairman. The transaction for this acquisition was coordinated by Sanjay Sondhi of Pegasus Investments & Advisory in New Delhi.
For the record, Candid Marketing is India’s leading promotional marketing services company and is widely regarded as the pioneer of the below-the-line marketing services industry in the country. Some of the key clients of Candid Marketing include Motorola, Pepsi, Cadbury, Nokia, ITC Foods, UB Group, Revlon, Max New York Life, Hutch, Sony Television, and Unilever, among others.
On the other hand, the client portfolio of IMSG include both multinational and first tier local companies operating in FMCG, telecommunications, retail trade, banking and finance, automotive, consumer electronics and pharmaceutical industries.