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Bangalore-based MAA may dilute 24% stake to PE players

The Rs 250-crore integrated communications group MAA Group Holdings plans to tap private equity funding for scaling up the company’s growth plans.

The company is willing to dilute a maximum of 24% of equity in either the MAA Group Holdings or the advertising company, chairman Bunty Peerbhoy told ET.

The group’s advertising agency MAA Bozell has been rebranded as MAA Communications after the buyback of its 29% stake in the joint venture with Bozell Worldwide, a part of the Interpublic group, since January 2008.

The Bangalore-headquartered MAA Communications works with clients such as Tata Coffee, Hero Honda, Biocon and Wockhardt Hospitals.

The company intends to raise about Rs 20 crore in the first phase to revamp its existing verticals, particularly the digital wing, as well as diversifying into other verticals.

MAA Communications has already introduced an experiential marketing vertical called Turn On and has diversified into embedded brand messaging through its entertainment marketing vertical Masala T.E.A this year. This will add to its existing healthcare advertising vertical MAA Wellness and Dakshin, which caters exclusively to the southern market.

MAA had entered into a joint venture with the Interpublic Group in the early nineties but has turned it into a privately-owned Indian company to retain control.

“We formed a joint venture to leverage the MNC’s global business presence and training but serving a global clientele network conflicted with our loyalties to Indian companies. Since we are not interested in selling the business, it made sense to regain control by delinking ourselves from our partners,” Mr Peerbhoy said.

The group also bought back the majority equity stake in direct marketing company Draft Worldwide India in 2006 and renamed it Sabre Marketing Services. MAA Group Holdings currently owns Sabre digital, public relations firm Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick and RAMMS that provides retail solutions.

Source: Economic Times

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