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Publicis acquires majority stake in L&K

Law & Kenneth will be merged into Saatchi & Saatchi India. Following the merger, Saatchi & Saatchi India will be re-branded as L&K Saatchi & Saatchi.

Publicis Groupe has acquired 51 per cent share in the so-far independent Indian ad agency, Law & Kenneth.

Publicis acquires majority stake in L&K
Law & Kenneth will be integrated into Saatchi & Saatchi India, after which the latter will be re-branded as L&K Saatchi & Saatchi. According to the company statement, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi will strongly reinforce the agency's presence in India between its offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

Law & Kenneth was founded in 2004 by Praveen Kenneth and Andy Law, along with investor and co-founder, Anita Roddick of The Body Shop, and has over 285 professionals. It has since grown into a full service agency specialising in traditional and digital advertising, branding and marketing. The agency serves a wide range of local and global clients, including Renault, Dabur, TATA AIG Insurance, Godrej, ITC, Reliance, Idea and Hero MotoCorp.

Kenneth will continue to manage the new entity as chairman and MD. Additionally, he will join the Saatchi & Saatchi APAC board and will work directly with Chris Foster, chairman and CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Asia-Pacific.

For the record, Kenneth was CEO of Publicis India during 1999-2003.

The L&K management team will assume the management operations of Saatchi & Saatchi India (L&K Saatchi & Saatchi), creating a strong value proposition combining the best of both agencies, the company said.

The senior management team of L&K including Anil S Nair (CEO and managing partner), Sandhya Srinivasan (chief strategy officer and managing partner) and Anil K Nair (CEO digital and managing partner) will continue their respective roles in the new entity. Meanwhile, L&K's CFO Vijay Agarwal will report to Johann Xavier, regional CFO for Saatchi & Saatchi APAC.

Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, says, "We are excited to be adding the breadth and depth of talent and resources of Law & Kenneth to the Saatchi & Saatchi network in India, a growing and important market for Publicis Groupe as a whole. Praveen has built an impressive network throughout the country, one that will provide a heightened added value and a mutually beneficial relationship for both existing and future clients. We are glad to be welcoming him back into the Publicis Groupe family."

Foster adds, "Law & Kenneth brings an ideas-driven entrepreneurial spirit and a comprehensive range of services to Saatchi & Saatchi, including advertising, design and importantly, a strongly integrated digital presence with its digital business Digital Law & Kenneth. The Saatchi & Saatchi global network is dedicated to strengthening its focus in Asia-Pacific, home to 60 per cent of the world's population and several vibrant economies. India is a lynchpin in this equation. We believe that with our combined knowledge, skills and creativity, nothing is impossible in this country and this market."

"Law & Kenneth was born out of passion and has always focused on adding value to client brands and to the lives of people we touch every day. This has helped us become the largest independent agency in India in just over 10 years. Our story is an example of the Saatchi & Saatchi spirit of Nothing Is Impossible. The combination of Law & Kenneth's stability, size, proven success and experience in India's dynamic marketplace, together with Saatchi &Saatchi's iconic status and mystique, results in a creative powerhouse that is L&K Saatchi &Saatchi. Success for us will be to use the philosophy of Lovemarks to win the hearts of Indian consumers and grow our clients' brands and reputations," Kenneth says.

In the other recent acquisitions by Publicis, Beehive was acquired by the agency conglomerate in October 2013 and Neev was acquired to launch Razorfish earlier in 2013 in India.

The formation of L&K Saatchi & Saatchi is the next in a series of steps the network is undertaking to restructure its India operations and optimise the massive potential for growth present in the market.

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