I Am Open To Merger- Odigbo Declares

One of West Africa’s biggest agencies, Casers Group, may soon be entering into a merger with another Nigerian agency as soon as they find a willing and suitable partner. Chairman and founder of the group, Enyinnaya Odigbo said recently in an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE, in Lagos that he is open to merger talks with a Nigerian firm as long as the other party is interested and possesses definite qualities.

While regretting that mergers are alien to the Nigerian business environment, Odigbo insisted that the concept is important if the industry must move forward and create a network of stronger agencies with bigger impact and market share. This declaration comes on the backdrop of Casers Group’s last year’s acquisition of agencies across other parts of West Africa.

DSC_0091He emphasized that practitioners can become more relevant in a bigger agency environment, than they would be if they held tenaciously to their small firms. “ A little bit of something is better that all of nothing. You can stay in that your small office and be Managing Director, that is all of nothing. It is better for you to have 10 percent of something than to have 100 percent of nothing,” he said.

Recalling an example in London where Adam and Eve, a small agency, run by a small group of very creative people agreed to merge with DDB Worldwide and the owner of Adam and Eve still kept his office even within the larger structure. “Adam and Eve DDB in London are a tiny agency, but they are bloody creative. DDB went to buy them and they told DDB that they were going to run the management of the big agency. They call them Adam and Eve DDB. The small company’s MD is the MD of the bigger entity. That is a creative way of doing this thing,” he emphasized.

Odigbo’s company, Casers Group, runs some of the biggest accounts in Nigeria and last year the group made a huge breakthrough when it acquired a collection of agencies across West African Countries, given the company an unrivaled business edge in the region. Today, the Casers Group is present in nine West African markets (Nigeria, Cameroun, Cote devoire, Congo Brazzaville, Benin, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Ghana). This makes the Casers Group a unique and strategic partner for any brand that desires to make an impact in the West and Central African market.

The network could get even wider as the astute adman is still diligently shopping for agencies to acquire in other regions of the continent. One of Odigbo’s major worries as an entrepreneur who seeks to expand his business into other regions is the dearth of quality talents in the integrated marketing communication industry. And one of the ways by which to solve this riddle Odigbo noted is either merger or acquisition. He added that it also serves to protect the talents in those company’s.

“Mergers have their roles to play so that these small companies don’t die along with their talents. Because most people who own this companies are respected talents. They have confident to go and become entrepreneurs.

“Mergers or acquisition produce the same results. Acquisition must have an objective, either you are trying to get a client in their portfolio or you are trying to get a talent from them or you like their style of doing business. It is business survival at the end of the day,” Odigbo said.







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