South Africa’s The Hardy Boys joins WPP’s JWT empire

Unknown-4Another day, another deal and now WPP’s JWT network has bought a majority stake in South African creative agency The Hardy Boys.

Founded in 1994 in Durban, The Hardy Boys has revenues of ZAR55m, which equates to about £3m. Clients include Unilever, Diageo, SA Home Loans, ADvTECH and RCL Foods.

In South Africa, WPP (including associates) generates revenues of around US$500 million and employs around 26,000 people. Across Africa as a whole, WPP earns revenues of over US$600 million and employs over 27,000 people.

Yesterday WPP bought a majority stake in UK-based Precise Media Group which monitors PR campaigns for about 2500 customers. Precise Media Group will come under WPP’s Kantar research wing.

It’s interesting that WPP is into buying majority stakes these days rather than 100 per cent. This may mean that there’s an earn-out deal in the offing of course but leaving the former owners some equity is a good way of avoiding hassles – like breakaways – that WPP absolutely hates.

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  1. I find it difficult to believe that WPP employs 26,000 in South Africa alone and only 1,000 more in all of Africa. Is that really correct or a typo?. I would guess that is larger than even the US market or close to that.

  2. That’s what they said in the release Sharon