Dentsu Aegis enters Sri Lanka with Grant Group acquisition

Dentsu Aegis Networks enters Sri Lanka with Grant Group Acquisition

Dentsu Aegis Network is set to mark its entry into Sri Lanka with the acquisition of Grant Group, a 59 year-old integrated agency, in a deal that is expected to close this week.

The acquisition follows Dentsu Aegis' recent acquisition in Indonesia with the agency named leader of the acquisitions spree in 2016.

The Grant Group was established in 1958 and is Sri Lanka’s first international advertising agency, and now has seven entities over two main groups of Grant Advertising and Grant Agencies.

Grant Advertising comprises of Grant Advertising and Grant Media, while Grant Agencies consists of Response Marketing, RN Media, Grant Public Relations, Juice Productions and Magnetic.

Post-acquisition, Grant Advertising will be rebranded as Dentsu Grant while Grant Agencies will join Dentsu Aegis’ Carat media network.

“With social and economic stability in the country, Sri Lanka is set to reap the peace dividend. Significant foreign investment is already flowing into the country, and with strong historical ties to Japan, there is a natural opportunity for Dentsu Aegis Network clients to grow. Grant represents a unique opportunity as a top quality advertising and communications group to get into a strong position in a fast-growing market,” said Nick Waters, chief executive officer, Dentsu Aegis Network.

The Grant group represents a list of over 60 local and international clients including Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Biscuits, Sampath Bank, Dialog Axiata and Sri Lanka Tea Board.

Neela Marikkar will be at the helm of the Sri Lankan operations as chairperson and managing director of Dentsu Aegis Network Grant Group, reporting to Ashish Bhasin, chairman and chief executive officer, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia.

“The acquisition of Grant Group is a key step in the Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia strategy and will launch our business in a market with significant potential. Through the Grant Group, we have a unique opportunity to enter the market with a bang and will be amongst the largest integrated groups in the country,” said Ashish

“Grant is a well-established family-owned business with solid heritage and legacy, and Neela is a highly recognized personality in the corporate sector for her deep insight in the marketing communications arena and also for her work across women’s empowerment, conservation and sustainability. The group’s long standing relationships with their key clients, some over 50 years, also show that they have successfully built an incredibly strong network and trust from the clients,” he added.

“Given our long heritage in this market continuously staying ahead of the game, Dentsu Aegis Network’s cultural fit and best-in-class operating model are the right facets of a multinational partner to take our group and most importantly our clients and staff into a very dynamic future. More importantly given the growth in the market and the push towards digital, we need a strongly aligned and committed multinational partner with digital at its heart as brands grapple with the challenges of a changing media landscape,” said Neela.

“We are very excited to be able to tap on the network’s resources and work with the 38,000 great people at Dentsu Aegis Network. We are beginning a new chapter in the wonderful story of the Grant Group,” she added.

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