Omnicom Strengthens Its Hand in Brazil by Acquiring Grupo ABC’s Agencies

Group in key South American market becomes part of DDB

DDB Worldwide today said it has agreed to acquire Grupo ABC, an agency group in Brazil that includes holdings across a wide range of disciplines, including advertising, public relations, digital marketing, CRM and live events.

The move strengthens the hand of DDB parent Omnicom Group in the increasingly important Brazilian marketplace—South America's largest—by bringing agencies such as Africa, CDN, DM9 (in which DDB already held a minority stake), Loducca, Newstyle and Sunset into the fold.

Creative powerhouse Pereira & O'Dell has been Grupo ABC's best-known agency in the U.S. This spring, P&O bought back marjority ownership from the company, though Grupo ABC retains a minority stake in the shop.

"Grupo ABC is widely acknowledged as an outstanding company with impressive creative work and expertise in a broad range of disciplines," said Omnicom chief executive John Wren in a statement. "Over the years, Grupo ABC have been great partners of Omnicom and their depth of talent will strengthen our business capabilities not only in Brazil but around the world."

Chairman Nizan Guanaes and CEO Guga Valente, who founded Grupo ABC in 2003, will continue in their leadership roles. Joining with Omnicom "will empower our companies to compete in times of extraordinary technological changes," Valente said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Reuters, citing a source with direct knowledge of the transaction, estimated the deal to be in excess of $250 million. The acquisition must be approved by local regulators and is expected to close early next year.

Gropo ABC is based in Sao Paulo and employs more than 2,000 staffers across its agencies. Clients include AB InBev, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, Mitsubishi and Telefonica, among others. At the Cannes Lions festival in June, Grupo ABC shops combined to win more than 150 Lions.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.