Interpublic Group (IPG) will sell a majority share in 303 MullenLowe Australia, and a minority share of Mediahub Worldwide Asia-Pacific, to New Zealand-based holding company Attivo Group.
The deal will double the size of Attivo’s business and give it a presence in Australia for the first time, with both the 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub offices housed together in Sydney and Perth.
Attivo owns other communication and marketing brands including Harvey Cameron in Christchurch and Farrimond in Auckland, plus TV and video production agency Gorilla. Attivo is controlled and led by Cam Murchison, who has previously been an executive with Ogilvy NZ and DDB in Asia.
Attivo launched in 2020 as a parent brand to the marketing services group and formed out of Harvey Cameron and Farrimond, both of which have 25-year track records in the New Zealand marketing communications sector.
Mediahub Worldwide Asia-Pacific will continue to be operated independently under the leadership of Andrew Livingston, APAC managing director, reporting to Ross Jenkins, executive director of Mediahub EMEA and APAC.
It is expected that 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub will retain their current branding in Perth and Sydney, and tap into the resources of the Attivo group, which has capabilities in production, shopper, PR and digital marketing, as well as web design in Auckland and Christchurch.
This sale is yet another exit for MullenLowe in APAC. Almost a year ago, the agency announced that it was doing away with the regional lead role, following the departure of Group CEO Vincent Digonnet. Since then the shop has reduced its holdings in several other markets, including Indonesia,Vietnam, Malaysia, and The Philippines.
“We’ve been looking to make an investment in Australia for the past three years, but knew it needed to be the right investment," Murchison said in a release. "We truly believe we’ve found that in 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub."
In this case, IPG noted that this move "is consistent with MullenLowe Group’s strategy to empower local partners, who are incentivized to deliver market, team and individual skill sets based on market experience". Both new investment structures enable local management to have stakes in the businesses while retaining a close affiliation with the MullenLowe Group network, and IPG, the company added.