Interpublic Group (IPG) has agreed to sell a majority of its shareholding in 303 MullenLowe Australia, and a minority share of Mediahub Worldwide Asia-Pacific, to a New Zealand-based group, Attivo.
Both new investment structures enable local management to have stakes in the businesses while retaining a close affiliation with the MullenLowe Group network, and IPG more broadly.
The deal will double the size of Attivo’s business and give the holding company a presence in Australia for the first time, with both the 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub offices housed together in Sydney and Perth.
Attivo owns a number of other communication and marketing brands including Harvey Cameron in Christchurch, Farrimond in Auckland, plus TV and video production agency Gorilla.
Attivo is controlled and led by Cam Murchison, who has previously been an executive with Ogilvy NZ and DDB in Asia.
Attivo was launched in 2020 as a parent brand to the marketing services group as it pursues growth.
It was formed out of Harvey Cameron and Farrimond, which both have 25 years’ track record in the New Zealand marketing communications sector.
Murchison says he was excited to be involved with 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub in Australia, given the brands’ strong reputations and shared passion for being challenger agencies and helping challenger brands.
“We’ve been looking to make an investment in Australia for the past three years, but knew it needed to be the right investment. We truly believe we’ve found that in 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub," Murchison says.
"Like us, they have genuinely integrated marketing solutions and a single-minded focus on clients. So, in those respects we already speak the same language. I’ve also been incredibly impressed with 303 MullenLowe’s strategic and creative strength. They punch well above their weight, which is a real credit to the team.”
Mediahub Worldwide Asia-Pacific will continue to be operated independently under the leadership of APAC managing director Andrew Livingston, reporting to Ross Jenkins, who is Mediahub's executive director in EMEA and APAC.
It is expected that 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub will retain their current branding in Perth and Sydney, and tap into the resources of the Attivo group, which has capabilities in production, shopper, PR and digital marketing, web design in Auckland and Christchurch New Zealand.
It is not yet clear if the local leadership team will remain the same. AdNews has requested clarification from Attivo on this.
“This Australasian group will have strong local knowledge coupled with access to international standards, tools and methodologies,” Murchison says.
"We are very pleased to have developed the relationship with MullenLowe Group and IPG at this time of change in Australasian marketing services.
"What we want to achieve is very simple – we will continue the legacy of these great brands, but through a lens of local ANZ ownership we will invest in the offices, expand services, identify opportunities for collaboration while incentivising the team to achieve their potential and a continuous cycle of growth, on both sides of the Tasman.
"Our people fuel our ambition and my job is to further build the team to achieve amazing client outcomes. All in all, this newly-expanded Attivo group of brands provides significant shared opportunity to grow our clients’ businesses, with more strategic insight, creativity and technology-driven performance.”
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