Aegis Expands South Of The Border, Takes Control Of Mexico

While the expansion focus of most big media shops is in emerging markets, Aegis Group Tuesday announced a deal that will expand Carat dramatically in North America, albeit in that continent's fastest growing market. Aegis said it has acquired Control Media, the leading independent media planning and buying agency in Mexico, and would combine it with Carat Mexicana. The consolidated shop, to be known as Carat Control, will control $175 million in combined billings, making Carat one of the top media agencies South of the Border.

The move bolster's Aegis' presence in Latin America, which has been ancillary to its recent expansion plans, with most acquisition deals focusing on Europe and Asia, or on research and digital media shops. Aegis does not break out its Mexican operations, but Carat Media Americas grew 36.3 percent during 2005, the last period it has reported. The increase came largely from organic growth and acquisitions in the U.S., though Carat Mexicana won significant new business, including media assignments from Coca-Cola Co. and Adidas.

"The marriage of Carat Mexicana and Control Media is the perfect fit for the exciting Latin American market. We have identified this market as an area of significant growth for us," stated Aegis CEO Robert Lerwill.

Aegis acquired the gross assets of Control Media for $12.5 million. Founded in 1999, Control Media has had five-years of sustained growth as the expansion of Mexico's media economy accelerated.



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