Arun Sudhaman 26 Feb 2015 // 8:36AM GMT
JOHANNESBURG—Publicis Groupe has announced its acquisition of South Africa's Epic Communications, two weeks after the Holmes Report revealed the deal's details.
As expected, Epic's 50 consultants across Johannesburg and Cape Town become part of MSLGroup. The agency will operate under the name Epic MSLGroup, with founder Elian Wiener remaining CEO.
Epic is the Holmes Report's current African Consultancy of the Year, having grown at around 40% per year since it was founded almost six years ago. Key clients include Samsung, Nedbank, DHL, Cipla and Old Mutual.
The deal marks MSLGroup's first owned operation in Africa. In recent years, several of the PR network's international rivals have expanded their African operations, notably via the key markets of South Africa and Kenya.
"They are a consistently strong player in their market, with a client list that both strengthens and complements our EMEA offering, with many opportunities for collaboration," said MSLGroup EMEA president Anders Kempe. "This first step, building upon Publicis Groupe’s open door policy across Africa, underlines our commitment to the African market."
"As we have grown we have seen that our clients’ needs are also evolving, requiring a more extensive range of skills, knowledge and global best practice," added Wiener.
MSLGroup has maintained a hectic pace of acquisition since it consolidated Publicis Groupe's various PR agency brands five years ago, adding new businesses in China, India, Taiwan, Poland, Russia and Brazil. The deals are part of an overall effort to reshape the PR network's positioning as an emerging markets player with a broad range of expertise.