Dentsu snaps up Brian Tellis’ Fountainhead; to merge it with psLIVE

MUMBAI: Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired Indian event and experiential agency Fountainhead Entertainment founded by Brian Tellis.


It is envisaged that in 2016, Dentsu's existing experiential offering of psLIVE, with 86 people in India, will be merged with Fountainhead, making the combined agency India’s largest experiential and activation agency business.


As per industry sources, the acquisition is pegged in the region of Rs 350 - 400 crore.


Fountainhead’s expertise and presence within the fastest growing sector of India’s advertising industry adds scale to Dentsu Aegis Network’s growing presence within the country.


Founded by chairman Tellis, managing director Neale Murray and director Otis D’Souza, Fountainhead was later joined by co-directors Pradeep Guha, VG Jairam and Owen Roncon.


Post-acquisition, Fountainhead will continue to be led by Tellis. The current management team will also continue as is. Tellis will report into Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia chairman and CEO Ashish Bhasin.


This acquisition will be one of the largest in India within this sector.


Established in 1994 and now with more than 205 experiential specialists, Fountainhead is headquartered in Mumbai and has offices in Delhi and Bangalore.


Fountainhead supports its client base of more than 100 on all types of events, digital initiatives, product launches, brand activation and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. The five brands within the business are: Fountainhead Events, Oranjuice Entertainment, Fountainhead Activations, Fountainhead Corporate Journeys and Fountainhead Digital. Together, they deliver in excess of 350 events annually.


Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific CEO Nick Waters said, “Fountainhead’s reputation in the event and activation market, and their extensive experience in both music and sports marketing, complements and strengthens our experiential offering in one of the region’s most exciting markets. This move represents a further step in our continued investment programme in the Indian market. We welcome Brian and the wider team to the network.”


Bhasin said, “As the fastest growing network in India, we are continuing to expand our portfolio of diverse specialisations available to our growing client base. Fountainhead’s creative quality and reputation in the market make it the perfect addition to Dentsu Aegis Network India. Our unique ‘One P & L’ philosophy will help us bring their expertise to all Dentsu Aegis Network clients. This is another big step forward in helping us achieve our mission of being the second largest agency group by end 2017 in India, overturning for the first time the existing ranking which has historically been in place for over 80 years in India.”


Tellis added, “Our vision is to deliver world class experiences to our stake holders. To set benchmarks in delivery through cutting-edge creativity, innovation, value pricing and practices and processes.  We are thrilled to join Dentsu Aegis Network. The sheer dynamism of the group will open up opportunities for us. Our values are well aligned and the potentially combined entity of Fountainhead and psLIVE will become the most comprehensive experiential offering in India. We are very excited about this opportunity and the growth potential it offers. Fountainhead, a full service experiential agency, will now start to align with an enviable spectrum of brands through the Dentsu Aegis Network.”


Fountainhead will retain its identity and branding, working alongside the other specialist Dentsu Aegis Network brands locally: Carat, iProspect, Isobar, Posterscope, Vizeum, Amnet, Dentsu media, Dentsu branded agencies (Dentsu Creative Impact, Dentsu Marcom, Dentsu Communications, Taproot Dentsu, Dentsu Webchutney), WATConsult and Milestone Brandcom. 

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