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Top creative independent the Jupiter Drawing Room sells 49% to WPP

29 January, 2009

The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) & Partners, Africa’s largest independent advertising agency group, today announced a landmark partnership with global media and communications giant WPP.

This coincides with WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell’s announcement of the deal in Davos, Switzerland earlier today.

In what Jupiter founder and group chairman Graham Warsop calls “A dream deal”, WPP will acquire, (subject to Competition Commission approval), a 49% stake in The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) & Partners, The Jupiter Drawing Room (Johannesburg), The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town) and through this investment, in their subsidiaries, including Black River FC and MetropolitanRepublic.

The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) & Partners is one of the top four SA advertising groups by revenue and boasts a blue chip client roster that includes ABSA, Edcon, Hyundai, MTN, Sanlam and Sasol.

The Johannesburg agency was founded in 1989 with two employees and one client, the Cape Town office opened in 1994. In the nearly two decades of its existence as an independent, there has been significant sustained growth. As at end February 2008 group revenues were ZAR 235,7 million (estimated billings of ZAR 1,4 billion).

The attraction of The Jupiter Drawing Room for WPP rests in part on the business success of the group, but also on the stellar reputation The Jupiter Drawing Room has gained internationally for the quality of its strategic and creative output.

The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) & Partners is currently ranked as the number one creative agency group in South Africa by the SA Creative Circle and is the only South African agency to have been ranked in the Top Five Most Creative Agencies in The World by US trade publication Advertising Age’s Creativity.

The Jupiter WPP deal is noteworthy in two material respects:

1. WPP and Jupiter have agreed to a 49% investment, as opposed to the traditional international networks’ investment policy of acquiring majority equity.

2. In a stunning testament to the power of The Jupiter Drawing Room brand, it will retain its status as a stand-alone brand in the WPP family and will not be incorporated into a branded network.

“It is of supreme significance that WPP will position The Jupiter Drawing Room brand as a stand-alone in its stable, not incorporated into any existing WPP branded agency or network. This leaves the door open for the possibility of building The Jupiter Drawing Room brand as a micro-network, beyond Africa, in the future,” says Warsop.

As a result of the WPP transaction, Jupiter shareholders will release their shareholding equity in local agency DDB (South Africa). (The DDB brand is owned by WPP rival Omnicom). Jupiter’s relationship with DDB (South Africa) proved beneficial to both parties, with Jupiter having access to a top international network and DDB (South Africa) enjoying a notable creative revival as part of the Jupiter family, including the Print Grand Prix at Cannes 2008.

MSG Afrika Investment Holdings remains The Jupiter Drawing Room’s Black Economic Empowerment partner post the transaction.

Issued on behalf of:
Graham Warsop, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer
The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) & Partners
Jupiter House, 42 Homestead Road, Rivonia, Johannesburg, Gauteng, 2128
Tel: +27 83 653 7962

Acrobat Document jupiter_pressrelease_jan09_guidfe7f010df03f454b885.pdf

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