M&C Saatchi Group SA to acquire full local ownership from Global PLC

The South Africa Group’s buy-back signals massive vote of confidence in local economy and talent.

M&C Saatchi PLC, Executive Chair Zillah Byng-Thorne announced the local South African company will be acquiring the shares owned by the PLC in M&C Saatchi Abel and the Group of Companies in South Africa, comprising Connect, Levergy, Razor, Dalmatian and Black & White. 

The deal is recognised as a massive vote of confidence in both the South African economy and the prospects of the highly acclaimed M&C Saatchi Group South Africa. The acquisition will also significantly accelerate the group’s transformation agenda which has been a strategic imperative for the Group from day one.

Once completed, not only will this make those South African entities entirely locally owned, it will uniquely position the M&C Saatchi Group South Africa as the biggest independent agency in the country that is still a valued affiliate of a famed global network.

“This is an extremely exciting development and evolution of the business, since founding it almost 15 years ago on the continent,” says Mike Abel, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Africa region. “Moving to full local ownership across our companies while remaining part of the global network is a significant win-win for the local team as well as the Group who wish to broaden its investment strategy into other global areas. This further accelerates our transformation ownership agenda – which we’ve had since day one – where B-BBEE Trust shareholding value increases by 40% in the new structure.”

Jacques Burger, Group CEO, M&C Saatchi Group South Africa continues: “Mike will remain on the global executive leadership team with his core worldwide responsibilities including the marketing portfolio and other key priority projects. Since he led the M&C Saatchi Australia Group in 2008-2009 and then founding the Group in South Africa in 2010, together with me and my partners, we have developed a deep affinity for the global company, and we look forward to an ongoing vital relationship with the group and our partners and friends across the global network.”

Byng-Thorne adds: “M&C Saatchi Abel and the South Africa Group has a truly vibrant Africa network of affiliate agencies servicing large global brands for clients like the Heineken Group in Amsterdam, Nigerian and Namibian Breweries and Standard Bank, the largest bank on the African continent, as well as the continent’s most highly-valued banking brand. We look forward to further collaborating with our trusted partners in those markets in expanding our offerings and services to our clients.”

“As a 100% independent, proudly South African group, our focus, now more than ever, will be to continue producing relevant, authentic work for our clients’ blue-chip brands in South Africa and across our continent. My partners and I are determined to harness the inherent talent we have in our country and deliver world-class creative solutions to our clients’ complex marketing challenges,” concludes Neo Mashigo, Chief Creative Officer, M&C Saatchi Group South Africa.

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