WPP has purchased the remaining 26 percent stake in MediaCom Communications Private Limited in India from Sam Balsara and his daughter Lara Balsara Vajifdar. Following WPP’s decision to merge Essence and MediaCom globally, Sam Balsara and Lara Balsara Vajifdar entered into a discussion with WPP agreeing to exit MediaCom "in the interest of MediaCom clients to enable the merger", they shared in a statement.
MediaCom is one of the world’s leading media communications specialists, with billings of US$17.2 billion (Source: COMvergence, 2021). The initial agreement between WPP and Balsara, who is the chairman of homegrown media investment company Madison, and his family dates back to 2008, under which the Balsara family owned 51 percent. In 2017 the Balsara family sold 25 percent to WPP.
This unique deal between WPP and the promoters of Madison contributed to the rapid growth that MediaCom experienced in India, making it today one of India’s most respected agencies.
Balsara said, “This innovative partnership we invested in nearly 15 years ago has been a great success for all parties. It has established MediaCom in India as a fast-growing and highly respected agency by advertisers.”
Nick Lawson, Global CEO, MediaCom, said, “It has been a pleasure working with Sam Balsara and Lara Balsara as we grew this successful business in India. We will build on that legacy to deliver the agency model our clients want for the future - founded on brilliant strategy and brand-building capabilities, with pioneering digital expertise running throughout.”
On 26 April 2022, WPP announced that global agencies MediaCom and Essence would merge to form EssenceMediacom. In January 2023, MediaCom will merge with Essence to form EssenceMediacom, infusing Essence’s digital strategy, data-driven creative, analytics and technology capabilities with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel audience planning and strategic media expertise. The new agency will operate across 125 offices and include 10,000 people.