WPP may buy Temple at over Rs 200 cr

07 Apr,2014

By Pritha Mitra Dasgupta


WPP, the world’s largest advertising company, is set to buy Bengaluru-based creative agency Temple Advertising, according to people close to the development in the two agencies. They said the deal, which could be valued at over Rs 200 crore, could be signed as early as April 15.


“WPP is currently engaged in 18 to 20 different acquisitions across the Asia-Pacific region and Temple Advertising is definitely one of them,” said a senior WPP executive. “Temple will be merged with Bates CHI & Partners in a bid to pull the agency out of the slump.”


Martin Sorrell

Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO at WPP, refused comment on the proposed acquisition, saying, “We don’t comment on conjectures.” Emails to Varagur Srikanth, Manmohan Anchan and Vidur Vohra, all directors at Temple Advertising, did not elicit any response till late on Sunday.


Temple Advertising was launched by Srikanth, a former employee of Ogilvy & Mather, in 2003 with a single account, Scullers. The agency, which now has over Rs 10 crore of billings, works for some of the best-known brands in India and abroad including Wipro, Reliance Trends, TVS, Indigo Nation, Manchester United and Scullers.


“If final talks go through on April 15 or 16, the entire process of merger and integration with Bates will be over by July,” said a person with the knowledge of the deal. Following the merger with Bates, the current directors of Temple will spearhead the merged entity.


“The integration will be primarily at the creative department level,” said the person quoted above. This person also disclosed that Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar, national creative director at Bates, is looking to move on. Mahabaleshwarkar refused to speak on the matter.


A mail to David Mayo, CEO at Bates CHI & Partners Asia, also did not receive an reply. Several WPP India agency heads said that Mayo has been running Bates India from Singapore ever since Sanjay Thapar, group CEO at Bates CHI & Partners, quit the agency earlier this year.


“Bates is in a rather laggard state right now. It doesn’t have a proper management, talent, clients and no significant work has come out of the agency in the recent past,” said one of the agency heads at WPP India. Following the merger, both agencies are expected to go through a name change to reflect the new ownership.


Source:The Economic Times

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