Dentsu Aegis Network acquires Merdeka LHS

Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Merdeka LHS, a creative boutique and brand consultancy based in Kuala Lumpur. The two will join forces to form Dentsu LHS in Malaysia.

Merdeka LHS was founded in 2013 by Malaysia's acclaimed advertising practitioners, Tony Savarimuthu, Huang Ean Hwa and Szu Lee. They were previously from McCann Worldgroup Malaysia.

Savarimuthu will lead the newly formed Dentsu LHS Group, serving as its chief executive officer. Huang and Lee are appointed chief creative officers.

Merdeka LHS will continue operations as a brand under Dentsu LHS with Huang as chairman. The agency will offer brand invention and design solutions with Islamic consulting forming part of their portfolio of services.

Savarimuthu, newly appointed CEO of Dentsu LHS said: "Dentsu is a formidable force in the way they approach media, technology, content, sponsorships and integrate this with creative and innovative solutions. The mission of Merdeka LHS fits well within Dentsu and we see many synergies and game changing opportunities ahead. We are committed to innovate the way brands are built for our clients.”

Dick van Motman, chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Southeast Asia said: “The acquisition of Merdeka LHS is part of a carefully planned evolution of Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia. It began with Nicky Lim’s appointment as CEO of the network followed by Darren’s promotion to CEO of Carat and now the addition of the exceptional talent of Tony, Hwa and Szu to the leadership team."

Nicky Lim, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia said: "This new partnership between Merdeka LHS and Dentsu Malaysia lends added creative strength for the Dentsu Aegis Network in Malaysia – truly a win for everyone. I’m confident that people of the calibre of Tony, Hwa and Szu will continue to strive further in their pursuit for creative excellence and maximise our collective abilities to grow our clients’ businesses.”

The deal is expected to close in early April.