ID Comms

M&C does India again and could become a takeover target, WPP’s Possible buys mobile firm Double Encore

***M&C Saatchi is forming a new India HQ via a merger with Delhi agency February.

Both companies will merge their operations to launch a new agency offering advertising, design, digital, social, mobile, events and activation. Founding clients will include GE, Adidas, Nando’s, State Bank of India (cards) and Panasonic Mobility.

M&C Saatchi worldwide CEO Moray MacLennan says: “India is a fundamental part of our global strategy, and we’re delighted to join forces with a brilliant team to help us create a global hub in this critical market.”

mansiFebruary founders Gopal Krishnan and Nirmal Pulickal will run the combined operation (here are two of them, left). Also in the frame is Anjali Nayar, CEO of M&C Saatchi Delhi, who’ll be president of the new venture M&C February.

It’s not clear where the shares in the new agency reside; M&C has expanded rapidly around the world with about 20 offices via joint ventures – which could be messy for an acquirer.

But with a market cap of about £170m (down about 17 per cent this year, which is a bit worrying) the network must be a tempting target for the likes of Dentsu. It’s a lot cheaper than Interpublic.

***WPP’s Possible Worldwide network of digital agencies has bought mobile app developer Double Encore, as you do.

“To remain the leader in creative innovation, Possible must continue to expand its capabilities in mobile, including helping clients develop engaging apps specific to their brand needs,” says Shane Atchison, global CEO of Possible. “The acquisition of Double Encore contributes to the agency’s ongoing growth strategy, while furthering our ability to deliver world-class mobile experiences for the ‘on-the-go’ consumer.”

As indeed it might. Possible didn’t get off to the best of starts – looking like the bits of WPP nobody wanted – but it seems to be making its way. So good for Shane (is he an Aussie by any chance)?

***New research from Vibrant Media suggests that more consumers trust branded content (27 per cent) than editorial (23 per cent). Yikes, you trust us don’t you?

***I’ve been watching this. Make that man a creative director.

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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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