Arun Sudhaman 17 Mar 2017 // 8:00PM GMT
NEW DELHI — WE Communications is in acquisition talks with Indian PR consultancy Avian Media, the Holmes Report has learned.
As one of India's few independent PR agency acquisition targets of credible size, the discussions will come as little surprise. WE Communications has already signalled its appetite for dealmaking by buying China's Red Bridge Communications and Singapore's Watatawa.
Avian Media CEO Nitin Mantri (pictured) confirmed that talks with WE have taken place, along with other suitors, but declined to provide further comment. WE Communications international president Alan VanderMolen, who is overseeing the agency's acquisition strategy, was unavailable for comment as this story went live.
The Holmes Report understands that Omnicom also holds an interest in acquiring Avian, a situation that may have been given added impetus by the formation of Omnicom PR Group.
Winners of the Holmes Report's Indian Consultancy of the Year in 2015, Avian submitted a particularly strong performance in 2016, growing revenues by almost 50% to $4.2m. The agency employs 153 staff and is led by Mantri and founder/MD Nikhil Khanna.
In addition to the India, it is understood that WE is also planning an acquisition in the UK, where talks with Threepipe remain ongoing.