MullenLowe Philippines next to sell to local player after Indonesia

MullenLowe Philippines has rebranded to MullenLowe Treyna following a buyout by local shareholders Treyna Holdings - the holding company of MullenLowe Philippines. Under the terms of the deal, IPG will retain its significant direct investment in the rebranded agency. The deal sees long-time Treyna shareholders - the Trillana and Siguion-Reyna families - significantly increase their equity stakes in the agency group, with Mike Trillana becoming the lead local shareholder. The deal also sees Leigh Reyes who recently retired as agency president, and Abi Aquino MullenLowe Treyna CCO appointed as shareholders.

“We feel very fortunate to have had a meeting of minds with IPG. They’ve been fantastic partners for over four decades and we both felt that in unchartered times like these, it was best for local shareholders to take on the leadership mantle as it gives the agency the agility and flexibility needed to take advantage of the opportunities in the local scene,” said Trillana said.

“Reyes, Aquino and I have always run this agency with a “color outside the lines” start-up attitude and the new set-up is the best of all worlds. IPG remains a strong partner and we will be able to further imbibe the agency with a spirit of experimentation and innovation that is needed now more than ever. In the end, the new set-up means we can respond more powerfully and purposefully to our clients’ needs,” Trillana added.

Alex Leikikh, global CEO, MullenLowe Group said this decision is a continuation of MullenLowe Group’s strategy of refining its Asia Pacific footprint to ensure it is meeting the needs of current and future clients.

“The geographic balance of controlled operations in core APAC hubs can complement other Southeast Asia markets where locally driven affiliation representation can benefit from continuity in management who are familiar with the network and network clients, but these localised businesses can be more locally focused and more responsive to changing local market needs,” Leikikh said.

Over the last few years, IPG has been steadily selling off its stake in the MullenLowe brand. In June this year, IPG also sold the majority of its shareholding in MullenLowe Indonesia to local management holding company Lintas Agra Perkasa, retaining a 20% stake in the business. This stake and relationship in one of the largest markets in East Asia enables both parties to retain more active collaboration and access to resources than would be the case in a full divestment.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, MullenLowe saw its CEO Adrian Sng obtaining full ownership of the business, changing its name to MullenLowe Sng & Partners Malaysia. According to a press statement, which echoes it’s choice to now sell its Philippines operations, the two said the move provides greater agility for the operation in Malaysia to be more responsive to the needs of its clients and the local market. The agency will still remain part of the MullenLowe Group network as an affiliate business partner, retaining access to the network's global tools and expertise.

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