J. Walter Thompson seems to be receiving its fair share of attention from owner WPP.
Last year it pieced together its very own network of digital agencies – Mirum – and now it’s bought what WPP calls a “significant minority stake” in Hirschen Group, one of Germany’s leading independent agency groups.
Hirschen Group employs over 500 people in nine offices offering advertising, public relations, public affairs, consulting and strategy. The company was founded in Hamburg 1995 by Bernd Heusinger and Marcel Loko. Martin Blach joined as CEO in 2005. The current team will stay in charge.
Minority stakes aren’t the norm at WPP although its 49 per cent stake in the UK’s CHI & Partners (also the leading light in the new The&Partnership network) is a notable exception. Maybe WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell sees Hirschen as a German CHI.
Hirschen Group’s revenues in 2014 were approximately €37.3m with gross assets of approximately €17m. Germany is WPP’s fourth largest market after the US, UK and Greater China. Collectively WPP’s German companies (including associates) generate revenues of $1.4 billion and employ around 7000 people.
(This is an updated version of an earlier post).