US-based advertising group Omnicom Group Inc. has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Reliance ADAG-backed Indian advertising company Mudra Group for an undisclosed sum, according to a company statement.

Under the agreement, Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani would join the Omnicom International advisory committee, the statement added.

Prior to the acquisition, Omnicom held 10 per cent stake in Mudra Communications. The Indian entity will help expand Omnicom’s service capabilities and presence in India while the US firm will extend its partnership with the Reliance ADAG (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group).

Founded in 1980 and based in Mumbai, Mudra Communications Pvt Ltd is a marketing communications agency that offers a plethora of services including advertising, brand strategy & design consulting, localisation and pre-media, as well as strategic planning, brand management and other creative services.

The company delivers creative solutions through its four agency networks – branding and communications agency Mudra India, marketing and advertising agency DDB Mudra, integrated engagement and experiential agency Mudra Max and Ignite Mudra, India’s only agency that caters to entrepreneurs. Mudra operates 26 offices across the country and its key clients include Amway, Disney, Emirates, Electrolux, HBO, HP, Johnson & Johnson and Volkswagen, among others.

“This acquisition is an important step in achieving Omnicom’s strategy to extend and deepen our presence in rapidly growing markets,” John Wren, president and CEO of the Omnicom Group, commented on the acquisition.

Omnicom and its subsidiaries provide advertising, marketing and corporate communications services, spanning traditional media advertising, customer relationship management, public relations and specialty communications sectors. The group offers its services in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. Omnicom was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in New York.

“In addition to significantly expanding our service capabilities in the region, this partnership will bring an exceptional Shared Services and Operations Center in Ahmedabad that will help Omnicom more efficiently expand its other operations in India,” Randall Weisenburger, EVP and CFO of the Omnicom Group said.

In July this year, New York-headquartered JWT, an advertising network which is a part of Martin Sorrell’s WPP Group, acquired a majority stake in Hyderabad-based advertising agency Mindset Advertising Pvt Ltd.

JWT’s earlier acquisitions in India included a majority stake in Encompass Events Pvt Ltd (an events and promotions agency) in 2008. Its key clients include Cadbury, Diageo, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Nestlé, Nokia, Unilever and Vodafone, among others.

Although the Indian advertising sector has not seen large M&A activities in the last 3-4 years, Japanese advertising major Dentsu Inc. has recently consolidated its Indian venture by buying 26 per cent stake (held by partner Sandeep Goyal) for Rs 240 crore.

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