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Burson-Marsteller to acquire majority stake in Arcay Communications

1 November, 2011

Extensive network will provide Chinese companies operating in Africa with experienced public relations and corporate communications services

JOHANNESBURG —  Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, recently announced it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Arcay Communications, a leading South African consultancy with headquarters in Johannesburg and an extensive affiliate network across Africa, covering more than 50 countries throughout the continent.

Arcay Communications has been Burson-Marsteller’s exclusive affiliate partner in Africa since 2007. The full-service agency, which was the Holmes Report’s African Agency of the Year in 2009, now becomes a full member of the Burson-Marsteller network and will now be known as Arcay Burson-Marsteller.

“Our decision to take this majority stake in Arcay underlines the great importance of the African continent to our clients – and it offers us significant opportunities to expand our global business. This strategic move demonstrates our commitment to serving our clients in every part of the world,” said Mark Penn, global CEO of Burson-Marsteller.

“Having founded Arcay Communications over 20 years ago, I am very proud that it has now become a full member of the Burson-Marsteller global network,” said Robyn de Villiers, Chairman and CEO of Arcay Burson-Marsteller. “This acquisition is the best demonstration of Burson-Marsteller’s faith in our work, our business and our region – and it offers huge opportunities for my team as part of the world��s leading evidenced-based communications agency. We are all extremely excited to be part of Burson-Marsteller.”

"Chinese companies are investing heavily in Africa, and as they do they will require on-the-ground support to reach out to stakeholders.” said Chris Deri, CEO Burson-Marsteller China. “With the acquisition of Arcay Communications, Burson-Marsteller is uniquely positioned to help companies operating in Africa communicate their activities both across the African continent and at home.”

Jeremy Galbraith, CEO Burson-Marsteller Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA), said: “The next decade will bring immense growth in the PR industry across Africa and we are committed to expanding our business on this continent. Arcay is the leading consultancy in the region – offering seamless execution combined with local market expertise – and Robyn and her team share our passion for evidence-based client work. The past four years have proved that we work extremely well together and I am absolutely delighted that Robyn will be joining the EMEA leadership team.”

Craig Adams
+86 (10) 5816-2595  

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and web-related strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 68 offices and 81 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leading communications services network.

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