Ketchum acquires majority stake in Sampark PR

MUMBAI: Ketchum, Omnicom Group’s public relations unit, has acquired a majority stake in Indian communications agency, Sampark PR.

Bela Rajan and NS Rajan, who founded Sampark PR in 1994, will continue to lead the India business as director and managing director and will retain a significant holding in the agency going forward.
The leadership team of Bela Rajan, NS Rajan and managing partner Ajay Sharma will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the agency in India as Sampark PR will now operate as Ketchum Sampark.

Sampark PR has offices across Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad and boasts a network of 80 associate offices that extend throughout the 25 states.

“Today marks another important milestone for Ketchum as we continue to implement our global vision of providing consistently excellent communications service to our clients in the key business and communications markets where they operate,” said Ketchum senior partner and CEO Ray Kotcher. “Our investments over the past six months, in Russia, China and now India, are predicated on this strategy and fortify the foundation we have in place for our clients and our people.”
The move will expand Ketchum’s presence in South Asia, complementing Ketchum’s network in the Asia-Pacific region which includes Greater China, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Ketchum had, last year, completed merger with Pleon to form Ketchum Pleon in Europe, creating a diversified communications consultancy in the region.

In addition, it also established a joint venture in the Middle East and North Africa called Ketchum Raad Middle East and a new exclusive affiliate relationship in South Korea with local market leader Prain.
Ketchum senior partner and CEO of international operations Jon Higgins said, “India occupies a powerful place in the world economy today. With Sampark, Ketchum has acquired one of the most respected PR businesses in India. Ketchum has worked closely with Sampark’s leadership team for some time now, and we have tremendous respect for their people and business. We are eager to put our enhanced partnership on a path of even greater possibility for our clients.”

As part of the transaction, in addition to Rajans, the India operation’s board of directors will include Higgins, Ketchum senior partner, COO and CFO Robert Lorfink, and, Diversified Agency Services (a division of Omnicom Group) chairman and CEO Tom Harrison.

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