WPP is boosting its stake in the WVI Group of companies, its joint venture partner for holding company brands in Russia, to 80 percent with the intent of full ownership. Included in the transaction are media entities Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare, GroupM and creative agency JWT.
WPP, which set up the Russian joint venture in 2005, previously held a 50 percent stake and has reached an agreement to buy the remaining 20 percent ownership by 2016. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval.
The investment, whose value was not disclosed at press time, underscores WPP’s strategy of developing its resources in fast-growing markets. WPP said group companies, including associates, in Russia earn revenue of over $300 million. Across Central and Eastern European markets, WPP operations and associates ring up revenue of over $600 million, the company said.