STW And WPP Merger Officially Gets Green Light

STW And WPP Merger Officially Gets Green Light
SHARE
THIS



Marketing communications network STW will officially merge with the Australian and New Zealand businesses of WPP following STW shareholder approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting held today.

STW shareholders voted in favour of all resolutions associated with the transaction, which will see WPP become the majority shareholder of STW, and STW become the primary vehicle for WPP in Australia and New Zealand.

The combined entity will be known as WPP AUNZ, and be the largest communications services parent company in the region with 90+ businesses, more than 5,500 people and combined revenues of more than A$850 million2. WPP will have a majority shareholding in WPP AUNZ of 61.5 per cent

The merger is expected to deliver substantial benefits for clients, employees and shareholders.

Key features of the merger include:

  • merger accelerates WPP AUNZ’s strategy of delivering 100 per cent of its clients’ customer experience budgets
  • significant increase in the scale of the combined entity’s operations with WPP AUNZ generating revenues in excess of A$850 million
  • a diversified and strengthened portfolio of companies through the combination of complementary businesses across all key marketing and communication services disciplines
  • an improved offering to clients through local market knowledge and access to WPP’s global reach, insight, tools and proprietary offerings in data and content
  • strong local management oversight to drive efficiencies and collaboration
  • increased career opportunities for the 5,500 people of WPP AUNZ
  • a strengthened balance sheet with reduced leverage metrics
  • senior management of Michael Connaghan and Lukas Aviani will continue to lead the merged WPP AUNZ as CEO and CFO respectively
  • a new board structure comprising independent directors and WPP nominees

“We believe this is a great deal for all stakeholders. This merger will drive growth, extend our reach, significantly increase the scale of our operations and position WPP AUNZ as the clear market leader,” said WPP AUNZ CEO Michael Connaghan, formerly CEO of STW.

“WPP AUNZ creates exciting opportunities for our clients, our shareholders and our people. It will be an organisation filled with insights, ideas, creativity and solutions provided by this country’s most outstanding talent. We will work together to meet our clients’ challenges, and will look to provide more opportunities for our people to learn and grow.

“Teamed with the opportunity to tap into WPP’s world-class tools, global resources and deep technology, WPP AUNZ will be a business unparalleled in our region.”

The merger simplifies the ownership structure of companies in which WPP and STW currently have joint ownership, including Ogilvy & Mather, Ogilvy Public Relations, J. Walter Thompson, Mindshare, Maxus and Added Value, and aligns the interests of both parties.

WPP AUNZ Chairman Robert Mactier said: “We are delighted that the merger with the WPP Australian and New Zealand businesses has received such a positive endorsement today from the STW shareholders. It indeed heralds a new and exciting era which will be very exciting for STW shareholders, WPP, our collective clients and all of the very talented people across the merged group.

“A lot of integration planning has been going on ahead of today’s shareholder meeting and with the approval of the merger we can now get on with the job of delivering the benefits and synergies for all our stakeholders. Through this preparatory work we are now even more convinced that this is the right strategic step for STW to take.”

WPP’s chief executive officer Sir Martin Sorrell said: “In the new era of ‘horizontality’, STW and WPP have a unique strategic opportunity to integrate their offerings and secure greater effectiveness and efficiency to the benefit of clients, not only in Australia and New Zealand, but globally.

“The separately quoted WPP AUNZ also offers a unique structure to achieve horizontality and motivate our people to do so, capitalizing on its already established leadership position.”

Merger Completion and Business Review

The merger is expected to be completed over the coming days, and the new name of the company will officially change upon expected shareholder approval in late May.

“Many benefits of this merger rely on our leaders knowing who’s in our new larger network of businesses, getting familiar with our different strengths and finding new ways to collaborate. As a priority, we’ll be looking for new and innovative ways for our agencies to connect and strengthen ties, and find opportunities to work together where it can benefit clients and people,” Connaghan continued.

“Similarly we plan to increase our already extensive training opportunities and provide access to a range of proprietary tools to help people, and their clients. We’ll also be reaching out to gain important access to global insight and tools, and international partnerships with leading brands. It’s an exciting future for all involved.”

Structure of the Board

Following completion of the merger, the WPP AUNZ board will comprise 11 directors:

Michael Connaghan CEO and managing director WPP AUNZ

Four independent Directors: Chairperson Robert Mactier,  Graham Cubbin, Kim Anderson, Peter Cullinane (Iain Tsicalas will retire on completion of the merger)

Six WPP Nominees: Paul Richardson (WPP Finance Director), Geoff Wild AM (Non-Executive Director, Director WPP Australia Holding), Paul Heath (Chairman, Ogilvy Asia Pacific), Ranjana Singh (WPP Chairperson Indonesia/Vietnam), John Steedman (Executive Director), Jon Steel (WPP Group Planning Director)

Latest News

Y&R’s Julian Bell To Return To Clems Melbourne
  • Advertising

Y&R’s Julian Bell To Return To Clems Melbourne

After 11 years, Y&R Melbourne’s managing partner, Julian Bell, has departed the agency, having lined up a new role at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. In a statement to B&T, Y&R’s chief executive for Australia and New Zealand, Pete Bosilkovski, said: “Julian has been instrumental in nurturing and growing the account management team, and I want to […]

Roseanne Set To Be Killed Off, As Plans For Spin-Off ‘The Connors’ Revealed
  • Media

Roseanne Set To Be Killed Off, As Plans For Spin-Off ‘The Connors’ Revealed

It appears a Roseanne-free version of Roseanne is set to get the go ahead with producers in the US green lighting plans for a spin-off show to be called The Connors. Roseanne – a revival of the long-running sitcom which ran from 1988 to 1997 – was swiftly axed following a racist tweet by the show’s star, […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Coke Turns Into Fanta In New Campaign To Fight Homophobic Slurs
  • Campaigns

Coke Turns Into Fanta In New Campaign To Fight Homophobic Slurs

As any gay man will tell you, when it comes to insults they’ve probably heard them all- Pillow biter, fairy or sword swallower to name just a few inappropriate ones. However, Coca-Cola in Brazil has turned a common local insult into a strong anti-homophobia campaign. Apparently, “this Coke’s a Fanta” is a common insult to describe gay men […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ikon Communications Appoints Melissa Roberts As Melbourne Agency Director
  • Marketing

Ikon Communications Appoints Melissa Roberts As Melbourne Agency Director

Ikon Communications has appointed Melissa Roberts as agency director, Ikon Melbourne. Roberts will report directly to CEO Lesley Edwards and will take a key position on Ikon’s national leadership team. Edwards said she was delighted Roberts has decided to re-join the Ikon family to lead its burgeoning Melbourne office, as the agency embarks on an […]

HT&E Chairman Tenders Resignation Following Adshel Sale
  • Media

HT&E Chairman Tenders Resignation Following Adshel Sale

Here, There & Everywhere (HT&E) has announced that Peter Cosgrove has tendered his notice to retire as chairman and a director of the company. Cosgrove has been on HT&E’s board for 14 years and chairman of the company for five of those years. The resignation of Cosgrove comes just after oOh!media acquired HT&E’s outdoor media […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cut out letters on keyboard
  • Advertising

Advertisers Should Enrich Australian Culture, Not Fake News Merchants

Australian News Channel CEO, Angelos Frangopoulos, has urged Australian advertisers to carefully consider how their media investments impact Australian society. Applauding the ACCC’s digital platforms inquiry, Frangopoulos said its outcome would be “absolutely critical”, not just for Australian media companies, but for Australian culture. “This is about Australian stories being told by Australians,” he said, […]

LinkedIn Launches Local Iteration Of Global #InItTogether Brand Campaign Via Edelman
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

LinkedIn Launches Local Iteration Of Global #InItTogether Brand Campaign Via Edelman

Professional networking platform LinkedIn has unveiled a consumer-targeted social campaign featuring Aussie members expressing their own takes on success. The campaign, titled ‘In It Together’, is based on the insight that the traditional notions of success have changed and is no longer defined by securing a corner office or a promotion. A survey conducted by […]

Weight Watchers Launches First Global  Marketing Campaign
  • Campaigns

Weight Watchers Launches First Global Marketing Campaign

Weight Watchers International has launched its first global marketing campaign that celebrates the liveability of the WW Your Way+TM program and how it’s possible to enjoy the foods, behaviours and occasions tied to the season, while continuing to develop healthy habits. The campaign is part of the company’s “Season of Impact” and marks two firsts […]

Daylight Agency Appoints Shelley Hammond As Director Of Agency Operations
  • Media

Daylight Agency Appoints Shelley Hammond As Director Of Agency Operations

The Daylight Agency’s significant growth has continued with the appointment of Shelley Hammond as Director of Agency Operations. Shelley is a leader in the global communications industry and brings vast experience following senior roles in major corporates as well as the agency environment. Shelley will be responsible for the commercial running of Daylight including client retention and […]

Instagram Launches Long-Form Video
  • Technology

Instagram Launches Long-Form Video

Instagram unveils new eye-catching feature. Slicing onions while reading this will also make it eye-watering.

Ridley Scott Unveils New Directors Showcase At Cannes
  • Media

Ridley Scott Unveils New Directors Showcase At Cannes

Curated this year by Ridley Scott, famed director of Alien, The Martian and other classics, The New Directors Showcase at Cannes is now in its 28th year. Acting as a platform for talented new directors to have their work premiered to a global audience, Scott took to the stage in front of a full house […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ, PHD & JCDecaux Harness The Power Of Data
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

ANZ, PHD & JCDecaux Harness The Power Of Data

ANZ and media agency PHD have partnered with JCDecaux to launch a unique campaign that harnesses the power of data across three cities incorporating actual tram, train and bus timetable information to align with the new ANZ App.

Report: Consumers Are Hitting Play On Mobile Video
  • Technology

Report: Consumers Are Hitting Play On Mobile Video

Ooyala survey finds media companies created and processed nearly three times as much video content in Q1 as Media Companies Created & Processed Nearly Three Times As Much Video Content in Q1 2018 vs. Q1 2017.

MercerBell Calls In Two New Data Hires
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MercerBell Calls In Two New Data Hires

Proving many photos shot on an iPhone so often come out washed-out and grainy comes this article's accompanying pic.

Intrepid Travel Go Back 30 Years, Posting Classified Adverts In Newspapers
  • Campaigns

Intrepid Travel Go Back 30 Years, Posting Classified Adverts In Newspapers

Intrepid Travel has gone back in time and is placing classified adverts for a new ‘mystery expedition’ to places that yet mapped by Google.  The adverts to be placed in Courier Mail, Herald Sun and Sunday Telegraph are calling for intrepid people to join a journey with “long travel days, intermittent electricity, no Wi-Fi, cold […]

Watching tv and using remote control
  • Advertising
  • Media

GroupM Investment Forecast For Australia: TV On The Rise As Digital Slips

GroupM has updated its 2018 ad investment forecasts and released its initial 2019 outlook. GroupM predicts $24B in net new advertising investment this year, the best annual increment since the bounce back from the global recession in 2010 when $26B was added to investment. GroupM estimates total advertising investment will grow by 4.5 per cent this year […]

Indigenous Campaign Deemed Too Controversial By APN Media To Run
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Indigenous Campaign Deemed Too Controversial By APN Media To Run

Aboriginal Victoria’s campaign in support of Australia’s first-ever treaty legislation, Deadly Questions, has been deemed too controversial to run by one of Australia’s leading outdoor media providers, APN Media. Online platform Deadly Questions provides a safe space for people to ask questions and have them answered by Aboriginal Victorians, to learn more about their cultures, […]

Introducing: YouTube Music Australia
  • Technology

Introducing: YouTube Music Australia

The wait is over! Starting today, YouTube Music is available to everyone in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S, Mexico and South Korea in addition to 12 new countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Now fans around the world can find more of the music […]

Will PR Finally Earn Its Stripes At Cannes This Year?
  • Opinion

Will PR Finally Earn Its Stripes At Cannes This Year?

In this guest post, Haystac’s national general manager, Jason Carnew (pictured below), says with all this talk of Cannes at this time of year, it’s a kindly reminder that the PR business needs to get its act together in terms of awards, work and judging… All eyes on are Cannes as some of the best […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-DDBer Unveils Designer Headscarves For Cancer Survivors
  • Campaigns

Ex-DDBer Unveils Designer Headscarves For Cancer Survivors

Two-times cancer survivor, Frankie Good Stuff Award Winner, ex-DDBer and founder of Bravery Co. Emily Somers has collaborated with a range of top-notch illustrators to produce Australia’s first range of designer headscarves for young cancer warriors. She is now crowdfunding $40,000 to produce the scarves and donate one to all the young women in their 20’s […]

New Advertising Platform Launches Down Under
  • Advertising

New Advertising Platform Launches Down Under

Following its massive success in Europe, Asia and the UAE, the Polishoe concept, which brings a high-demand shoe polish service and HD digital advertising platform together, has landed in Australia.