by Herman Manson (@marklives) GREY has re-entered the South African market. WPP has announced that its wholly-owned operating company Grey has acquired a majority stake in The Volcano Group. GREY exited the local market abruptly in July 2013, when it closed its Johannesburg agency. At the time, no reason was given for the sudden closure.

GREYOwen Dougherty, chief communications officer at Grey Group, had told MarkLives that the network would regroup in South Africa and either acquire or build a new integrated agency, describing it as a key market.

It has now made good on that promise through the acquisition and rebranding of Volcano Group as GREY Africa.

Launched in 1994

Volcano launched in 1994 in Johannesburg. Clients include Procter & Gamble, First National Bank, Sony and Consol Glass.

Volcano’s unaudited consolidated revenues for the year ending 31 May 2013 were approximately R61 million, according to WPP, with gross assets at the same date of approximately R26 million.

Last week, WPP announced it will take a controlling interest in South African marketing agency Quirk.

Actively acquiring

Both WPP and Publicis have been actively acquiring agency properties in the country over the past few months, with more deals in the pipeline. WPP also recently bought into Cerebra and Native; Publicis Groupe recently bought out OwenKessel and merged it with Leo Burnett, as well as digital agency Lighthouse Digital, which has become part of Publicis division Starcom MediaVest Group. In December 2013, Publicis also bought out digital agency Synergize to sit within Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa.

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