WPP swoops for South African digital agency The Hardy Boys

Oliver Smith
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ADVERTISING giant WPP yesterday announced it had taken a majority stake in South Africa-based creative ad and brand building agency The Hardy Boys for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, made through WPP’s global marketing communications agency JWT, will see The Hardy Boys bring its client list, including Diageo and Unilever, over to JWT.

“This investment continues WPP's strategy of developing its integrated services in fast-growing and important markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities including digital media,” said WPP on the acquisition.

About 35 per cent of WPP’s $17.3bn (£10.3bn) revenues come from digital operations, and the group wants to grow this to between 40 and 45 per cent in the next five years.

The Hardy Boys was founded in 1994 and has grown to report revenues of 55m South African rand (£3m) in the year to 28 February.

WPP made 54 acquisitions in 2013 and kept up the pace this year, buying media intelligence group Precise earlier this week and more than 20 other firms since January.

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