WPP has merged its Australian and New Zealand businesses with STW Communications Group in Australia and New Zealand .
The merger will see WPP increase its shareholding from 23.6% to 61.5% and will become the primary vehicle for WPP in the Australia and New Zealand markets. WPP has been an investor in the company since 1988.
The merger continues WPP’s strategy of investing in important geographic markets and to advance “horizontality”, a WPP statement said.
STW, a marketing and communications group based out of Australia and New Zealand’s, is a publicly listed company, whose shares are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange. Agencies under the STW group include names such as CPR Vision, Maxus, Ogilvy, Mindshare, The Brand Agency, Switched on Media, The White Agency amongst others. Following the merger, STW will change its name to align it with WPP.
The transaction will be structured through a contribution of WPP’s Australian and New Zealand businesses into STW, for an enterprise value of AU$512 million, with consideration consisting of the issue to WPP of new STW shares and a shareholder loan.