Emily Tan
Feb 4, 2015

Dentsu Aegis confirms previously denied BWM acquisition

AUSTRALIA - Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired a majority stake in the BWM Group in Australia for an undisclosed sum.

L-R: Jamie McKay, Rob Belgiovane and Paul Williams
L-R: Jamie McKay, Rob Belgiovane and Paul Williams

Following this agreement, BWM will change its name to BWM Dentsu and will be the flagship creative agency brand of DAN in Australia.

BWM Group founders Rob Belgiovane, Paul Williams and Jamie Mackay will all remain in senior executive roles with BWM Dentsu and will continue to lead its staff of 140 along with the existing leadership team in Sydney and Melbourne.

The move, said Nick Waters, Asia Pacific-CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, is a major strategic step and will add a highly complementary business to the group's presence in Australia.

"We have a strong group of market leading agencies in media, performance media, digital marketing, event and sport, and now advertising," he said. "By working alongside each other as one cohesive team we have the opportunity to create further advantage for our clients and our business.”

The decision to acquire BWM is in line with Dentsu's ambition to build a strong creative presence outside of Japan, said Hiroaki Charlie Sano, executive officer of Dentsu and global brand president of the Dentsu branded agencies within Dentsu Aegis Network. "We’re delighted to announce this important acquisition and to offer our clients a truly seamless service experience in the region.”

For BWM, the founders chose to join DAN because they felt it would allow the agency to retain its independence while at the same time granting it access to the skills and assets across the network.

"Big ideas that get Australians talking and transform and drive companies and brands will always be the core of our business," said CEO of the BWM Group Paul Williams. "This partnership allows us the best of both worlds."

A spokesperson also explained that questions from the press about the acquisition were denied earlier as the staff of the companies involved had yet to be informed. "Staff have to come first with these sorts of events."
BWM's decision is particularly surprising in light of its founders decision to buy back the agency from its previous holding company, Enero, three years ago. At the time, co-founder Rob Belgiovane told Campaign Asia-Pacific that they had originally sold their agency to Photon, which had undergone substantial changes including changing its name to Enero.  

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