Publicis acquires 75.1% of Walker Media

walkermediaPublicis Groupe is to acquire 75.1% of UK based independent media agency Walker Media for £36 million. M&C Saatchi, the current owner, will retain a 24.9% shareholding. Clients include Marks & Spencer, Dixons Group, KFC, Halfords and Weetabix. Walker Media had gross assets of £49.1m as at 31 December 2012 and operating profit of £5.2m for the 12 months ended 31 December 2012. The deal is expected to complete on 27 November 2013.

Walker Media will become part of the ZenithOptimedia Group.

The Walker Media board will be comprised of:

  • Phil Georgiadis, Chairman, Walker Media
  • Simon Davis, CEO, Walker Media
  • Steve King, CEO, Worldwide, ZenithOptimedia
  • Adrian Sayliss, COO, Worldwide, ZenithOptimedia
  • David Kershaw, CEO, M&C Saatchi
  • Jamie Hewitt, Group Finance Director, M&C Saatchi

The new ZenithOptimedia Group in the UK will be comprised of: Zenith, Optimedia, ZenithOptimedia Worldwide, Walker Media, Performics (digital performance marketing), Newcast (branded content), Ninah (analytics) and Sponsorship Intelligence. The group employs around 500 people.

Steve King, CEO Worldwide, ZenithOptimedia said, “Walker Media is the biggest and most successful independent media agency in the UK and we are absolutely delighted to welcome them to the ZenithOptimedia family. The agency was built and developed on the principle of client centricity and its incredible success is testament to this. I have known Phil Georgiadis for many years and I couldn’t think of a better person to lead our new media network in the UK.”

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