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)

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Study: Aussie Brands Close The Gap Between Digital Experience & Customer Expectation
  • Marketing

Study: Aussie Brands Close The Gap Between Digital Experience & Customer Expectation

SAP Australia today launched its 2017 Australian Digital Experience Report, revealing that Australian businesses have significantly improved the digital experience they provide, closing the gap to what consumers expect. However, while performance has improved, consumers are still more likely to be unsatisfied with digital experiences than delighted by them.  The report, based on results from […]

Nuttelex Launches First Brand TVC Via Independent The Sanford Partnership
  • Campaigns

Nuttelex Launches First Brand TVC Via Independent The Sanford Partnership

Following a nation-wide qualitative and quantitative research study, independent creative agency The Sanford Partnership has produced a TVC for its client Nuttelex. The TVC has a nostalgic theme with a modern twist and highlights the brand’s healthy credentials. Nuttelex Food Products Pty Ltd started in a small factory in St Kilda in 1932. Now, the family […]

Yarra Trams & Icon Agency Introduce ‘Tram Coach’ For New Passenger Safety Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Yarra Trams & Icon Agency Introduce ‘Tram Coach’ For New Passenger Safety Campaign

Yarra Trams has appointed Icon Agency to deliver a new passenger safety campaign, following a competitive three-way pitch. The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of slips, trips and falls on trams via Melbourne’s latest safety ambassador, ‘Tram Coach’. Commencing today, Tram Coach will be travelling the Yarra Trams network throughout the week. His mission […]

The Red Republic Appoints New General Manager
  • Marketing

The Red Republic Appoints New General Manager

The Red Republic has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Mai Aristoteli (pictured above) as general manager. Aristoteli joins The Red Republic from Talk PR in London, where she has worked for nine years as a board director. The appointment of Aristoteli follows The Red Republic managing director Lynn Mooney’s relocation to head-up […]

PR Deadlines Inks Deal With GlobalCom PR Network
  • Marketing

PR Deadlines Inks Deal With GlobalCom PR Network

Sydney-based agency PR Deadlines has extended its global reach after inking a partnership agreement with the GlobalCom PR Network. The agreement gives PR Deadlines’ clients access to some 70 independent agencies covering all European Union states, as well as 60 more in countries worldwide. In turn, clients of affiliated agencies will have access to PR […]

Fintech Start-up InstaReM Names Aussie Cricketer Matthew Wade As Brand Ambassador
  • Marketing

Fintech Start-up InstaReM Names Aussie Cricketer Matthew Wade As Brand Ambassador

InstaReM, which offers international money transfers to individuals and businesses, has signed on Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as the sports face of the brand. InstaReM lists Australia as its founding market, having begun life here in 2014. Since the company’s modest start in Australia, InstaReM has since successfully spread its wings to other corridors by […]

Australia Is Diverse… Does Your Brand Have An Inclusive Digital Presence?
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Australia Is Diverse… Does Your Brand Have An Inclusive Digital Presence?

As Australia continues to grow and the population becomes more ethnically diverse, it is important that marketers ensure digital environments are more inclusive, especially for those who don’t speak English as a first language, writes Siteimprove’s Haley Doel (pictured below). Having a readable and accessible website is no longer just a high priority for large […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Pepsi MAX Teams Up With PHD & Time Out For New Data-driven Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Pepsi MAX Teams Up With PHD & Time Out For New Data-driven Campaign

Pepsi MAX has partnered with PHD and Time Out to not only inspire Australians, but also enhance their ability to ‘MAX’ out their summer this year. Through the use of a live dynamic data feed, consumers will be served ads by the brand on events taking place around them that are relevant to their personal […]

AI – To Join It Or To Beat It
  • Media
  • Opinion

AI – To Join It Or To Beat It

I'm afraid we can't let you read this piece Dave! That's a joke about A Space Odyssey 2001, young B&T readers.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AnalogFolk Opens In Shanghai
  • Advertising

AnalogFolk Opens In Shanghai

AnalogFolk has opened in Shanghai and, as B&T's trusty Funk & Wagnalls atlas tell us, is somewhere near Wollongong.