WPP share price: Company acquires South African creative agency

on Jun 12, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020

iNVEZZ.com, Thursday, June 12: WPP Plc (LON:WPP), the world’s largest advertising agency, continues with its relentless drive to acquire assets around the globe. In its latest acquisition move, the UK ad giant has snapped up The Hardy Boys, a ‘leading creative agency in South Africa’.

The purchase was made through WPP’s global marketing communications agency JWT, which had bought a majority stake in the South African business, the company said yesterday in a statement to the London Stock Exchange. The deal, whose financial terms weren’t disclosed, will see The Hardy Boys bring its client list, including spirits giant Diageo Plc (LON:DGE) and Unilever Plc (LON:ULVR), over to JWT.

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In today’s trading, WPP shares were 0.7 percent higher at 1,312.00p. The company’s stock has fallen nearly five percent since the start of the year.
The Hardy Boys, which was founded in 1994 in Durban, is a multi-disciplinary, brand building agency with an established client base of major companies and brands. In addition to the aforementioned Unilever and Diageo, the agency also serves clients such as SA Home Loans, ADvTECH and RCL Foods amongst others.

In its latest financial year ended February 28, The Hardy Boys generated revenues of approximately ZAR55 million (around £3 million). The company had gross assets of approximately ZAR 32.2 million as of the same date.
**Interest in South Africa**

Since the start of the year WPP has made a number of moves in South Africa, a market that has been also targeted by French rival Publicis. Last month the UK firm bought The Volcano Group, a South Africa-based advertising and communications company (WPP share price: Ad giant buys South Africa’s Volcano Group). Prior to this acquisition, it bought Quirk, Africa’s largest independently owned digital marketing agency, and Jupicorp Proprietary Limited – a mobile activation and rewards company.

In South Africa, WPP generates revenues of about $500 million and employs around 26,000 people.
**Analysts on WPP**
The 28 analysts offering 12 month price targets for WPP for The Financial Times have a median target of 1,470p, with a high estimate of 1,600p and a low estimate of 1,100p. As of Jun 06, 2014, the consensus forecast amongst 47 polled investment analysts covering WPP PLC advises that the company will outperform the market. The same consensus forecast has been maintained since the sentiment of investment analysts improved on Oct 16, 2009, the FT notes.
**As of 15:29 BST buy WPP shares at 1312.00 pence**
**As of 15:29 BST sell WPP shares at 1311.00 pence**


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