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WPP’s Sorrell minds the pennies with stake in India’s Pennywise – but don’t rule out a bigger deal

Ogilvy & Mather agrees to acquire majority stake in PennyWise, a leading digital technology and production company in India

WPP agency Ogilvy is buying a majority stake in PennyWise Solutions, which it says is one India’s leading digital technology and production companies.

Founded in 2003 and based in Hyderabad, PennyWise offers a range of digital services, including custom application development, mobile application development, SEO, digital listening, online consumer response management systems, data analytics and business intelligence, network support and infrastructure management services.

It employs more than 140 people and clients include include Vodafone India, Johnson & Johnson, and LIN Digital.

All of which sounds very impressive although Pennywise’s revenues only amount to about $2m. But WPP now derives about 30 per cent of its revenue from Asia Pacific ($5bn or so) which shows just how many smallish companies it has bought in the recent past to work alongside or within (as here) its big creative and media networks.

So far the evidence is that WPP Sir Martin Sorrell (left) is determined to stick to his avowed strategy of building organically and through small acquisitions even in a marcoms world about to be headed (in revenue terms anyway) by the merger of Omnicom and Publicis.

Many industry analysts/gossips (the two are often one and the same) think that Dentsu, which bought media buyer Aegis for £3.2bn last year, is the more likely to try another big deal, some linking it with a bid for Interpublic which would give it the creative agency firepower it needs outside Japan.

Should such a deal (or one for French network Havas) actually look like becoming a reality it’s unlikely that Sorrell (whose WPP share price has performed strongly recently) would remain above the fray.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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