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IPG Mediabrands acquires Interactive Avenues in India

India’s leading full service digital marketing company to enhance Mediabrands audience platform

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 6, 2013

IPG Mediabrands, the media holding company within Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), today announced the acquisition of Interactive Avenues, India's largest independent full service digital agency. With close to 200 employees across offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore focusing exclusively on digital marketing and technology, the acquisition of Interactive Avenues' renowned media, creative and digital production units cements IPG Mediabrands' position as a leading digital buying unit in the rapidly expanding Indian market, as well as the second largest media holding company. After the launch of Reprise Media in India in 2011, this new move continues IPG Mediabrands' strong commitment to implementing industry leading digital services across all of its agencies and will allow it to accelerate its timetable for the launch of its new Cadreon offering.

Interactive Avenues will become an important strategic part of IPG Mediabrands' Mediabrands Audience Platform (MAP), the constellation of data driven digital services and technologies that focus on search, display, mobile, social, video, applications and e-commerce. MAP improves insights and results for clients by helping agencies find, buy and engage their most valuable audiences in real time.

The move further strengthens the networks' digital capabilities in India and makes for an even stronger digital foundation for IPG Mediabrands and its clients in the Indian market. Interactive Avenues was founded in 2006 and has one of the top three clients in almost every category including Consumer Electronics, FMCG, Technology, Telecom, Banking, Insurance, Travel, eBusiness and Education.

Interactive Avenues will enhance the integrated digital services offered by MAP in India developing its full services offering with creative, production and digital content capabilities. Interactive Avenues will help develop a deeper and more integrated relationship with IPG Mediabrands clients in India and abroad. The company's co-founder Amar Deep Singh will become MAP India CEO.

"India is a key market for IPG Mediabrands and for IPG as a whole. This acquisitions affirms our commitment to making investments in high growth disciplines and geographies. We believe India is one of the fastest growing and most important global markets. IA has a fantastic track record in India and great future as a part of IPG Mediabrands", commented Matt Seiler, Global CEO, IPG Mediabrands.

"We have a clear vision for MAP in India. Interactive Avenues fits perfectly into this", said Brendan Moorcroft, Global CEO of MAP. "Because we already have an established partnership with Interactive Avenues, we know their strengths and understand and share their core values. IPG Mediabrands recognises where digital is heading and the integration of Interactive Avenues will enable MAP to gain further foothold in the Indian market following its introduction earlier this year."

Interactive Avenues will sit alongside established IPG Mediabrands agency Reprise Media in the new MAP structure. The acquisition and integration into MAP India will have no impact on the day to day running of the agency which will remain as it is now. Interactive Avenues will continue to operate as an independent brand within the MAP structure.

Amar Deep Singh said: "After a dream run of seven years, we are ready for our next phase of growth. In IPG Mediabrands we have the right partner. They give us access to three fundamental growth catalysts; access to global tools technologies and best practice; access to markets beyond India; and access to global clients in India and beyond. It is a true meeting of minds and cultures, and I am thrilled to be working with such strong local and global leadership. There are exciting times ahead with our plans to develop and launch MAP's specialist offerings Cadreon, Spring Creek Group and Ansible in India."

This marks a successful exit for Interactive Avenues' current investors, WestBridge Ventures II Investment Holdings formerly Sequoia Capital Investment Holdings II and Anupam Mittal.

Anupam Mittal, outgoing Director and angel Investor in Interactive Avenues added: "It had been a pleasure working with the IA team over the last 7 years in building India's leading full-service digital agency. The leadership, management depth and the operational & creative capabilities that the company has developed over the years will all be very valuable assets in IPG Mediabrands global portfolio.'

Sandeep Singhal, Managing Director and co-founder of WestBridge Advisors, further said: "WestBridge is the single largest shareholder in the company and has had a great relationship with the Interactive Avenues team; it is exciting to note that the team and company are going to be part of the Interpublic Group, a group that is globally respected and admired in its field."

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