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Omnicom takes majority stake in India's Mudra Group

NEW DEHLI - Omnicom Group has acquired a majority stake in Mudra Group, India's leading integrated marketing communications group, significantly expanding the holding company's DAS capabilities and presence in the market.

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As part of the agreement, Omnicom will extend its partnership with the Reliance ADA Group.

According to John Wren, Omnicom’s CEO and president, the holding company has held a minority interest in Mudra since 1993. He said the deal would increase the group’s platform in India, allowing it to grow further and faster in Asia’s third largest economy.

"As I said in [an interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific in February], I am spending more of my time building our interests in the parts of the world where the consumers are. If you look at [Omnicom’s] previous third quarter numbers from 2010, 17 per cent of growth came from emerging markets. This past quarter, it was 22 per cent. We are going where the clients, consumers and opportunities are, and doing it with quality companies that share the same values. This is important in our ability to attract talent in those markets," Wren said.

Mudra Group comprises four agency networks: branding and communications agency Mudra India; marketing and advertising agency DDB Mudra; integrated engagement and experiential agency Mudra Max; and Ignite Mudra, an agency that caters to entrepreneurs. Mudra has 26 offices across the country and an extensive field activation network.

DDB Worldwide President and CEO Chuck Brymer described Mudra as a creative powerhouse, adding "creativity is a key component of growth for DDB". Mudra was a top performer at Spikes Asia in 2011 and won more Lions at the 2011 Cannes Lions International Festival than any other agency group in India.

In conjunction with the strategic partnership, Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani will join the Omnicom International Advisory Committee. Ambani has vast experience in the international business community, leading businesses in the areas of telecom, capital, power, infrastructure, entertainment and health.  In aggregate, the Reliance Group businesses serve a customer base of more than 100 million people.

DDB and Mudra Group’s history began in 1988 and has grown since the formation of DDB Mudra in 2007, which established DDB India, Tribal DDB, Rapp and DDB Health & Lifestyle in the Indian market.

Mudra Group CEO Madhukar Kamath: "DDB has been an excellent partner over the years. We have benefited immensely from the collaboration and transfer of knowledge from around the globe. We are proud to belong to such a storied network. Omnicom and DDB have clearly been the inspiration for Mudra Group’s transformative growth over the last five years. My colleagues and I look forward to the next decade of explosive growth in the Indian market."

John Zeigler, CEO, DDB Asia Pacific, noted: "Mudra has an impressive history as both creative leaders and strong believers in integrated solutions making them one of the most innovative companies in India."

Omnicom Group EVP and CFO Randall Weisenburger, added: "In addition to significantly expanding our service capabilities in the region, this partnership will bring with it an exceptional Shared Services and Operations Center in Ahmedabad that will help Omnicom more efficiently expand its other operations in India. Additionally, Mudra recently moved into a new headquarters facility in Mumbai called Mudra House, a sustainable building and one of the few in India to be awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. Mudra House is widely acclaimed for its conservation features and state of the art technology."

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