Dentsu Aegis Network has announced its acquisition of Grant Group, Sri Lanka’s largest independent agency. The takeover marks Dentsu’s first entrance into the maket.
Grant Group was set up in 1958 by Deshabandu Reggie Candappa, an industry pioneer in Sri Lanka. It became Sri Lanka’s first international advertising agency, and now has 150 staff across seven entities that span advertising, media, marketing, PR and digital.
Its portfolio includes brands such as Ceylon Biscuits, Sampath Bank, Dialog Axiata, Fonterra and Sri Lanka Tea Board.
Following the acquisition, Grant Advertising will be rebranded Dentsu Grant, while Grant Media will fold into Dentsu’s global media brand Carat. The other Grant entities will integrate with Dentsu’s global network and provide expertise in the Sri Lankan market.
“With social and economic stability in the country, Sri Lanka is set to reap the peace dividend,” said Nick Waters, CEO of DAN APAC. “Grant represents a unique opportunity as a top quality advertising and communications group to get into a strong position in a fast-growing market.”
On the ground, Grant Group leader Neela Marikkar will remain in charge as chairperson and managing director of the Dentsu Aegis Network Grant Group. She will report to Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia.
Marikkar said: “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.”