THINKING OUTSIDE THE FOX FOR SA’S TOP MID-SIZED AGENCY

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South Africa’s top mid-size creative agency at the Loerie Awards in both 2019 and 2020, FoxP2, has recently secured investment and increased its black ownership from 45% to 51%.

This encouraging move to further transform the local advertising industry was made possible by a 10% private shareholding acquired by the Vumela Fund, established by FNB Business and Edge Growth. The Vumela Fund is an innovative funding model established in 2009 to invest in high growth small, medium and micro size enterprises with good economic and impact returns.

Adding to the interest in FoxP2’s culture and growth potential was the agency’s partnership with dentsu South Africa, a global leader in media and communications. This collaboration with the Japanese advertising and public relations company listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, achieved in 2018, is behind the company’s initial 45% BEE ownership.

According to Edge Growth’s investment principal Sam Tennant, this private shareholding deal is an ideal partnership to meet the needs of all involved.

“FoxP2’s culture resonated strongly with ours at Edge Growth. We were impressed with the agency’s culture of collaboration when it comes to seeking solutions to their clients’ business and marketing problems. There is an unusually flat and flexible hierarchy, with the emphasis on delivering in the smartest and most effective way, and not on empire-building,” says Tennant.

“The Vumela Fund’s investments are typically medium-term in duration, that’s five to ten years of being locked into a relationship that needs to deliver on many different levels.” he says.

Making this alliance with the Vumela Fund even more relevant is the fact that FNB has been part of FoxP2’s client portfolio since 2014, along with other notable and iconic brands such as Wimpy and Hippo.co.za.

“We believe there are some strong synergies that would allow us to work together to unlock growth in FoxP2. We’re exceptionally excited to get to work with such a talented team and look forward to walking this journey with them over the next few years”, Tennant says.

FoxP2 Partner and Director Charl Thom adds that they were pleased to complete the transaction with Edge Growth.

“We took our time to get to know the team at Edge Growth and their investment strategy, and as the process unfolded it became clear that they were the ideal investment partner for FoxP2 to increase black ownership to the crucial 51% level, as well as help us to unlock various future business growth opportunities. We greatly enjoyed the process of getting to know Sam, the broader Edge Growth investment committee, and the ethos of Vumela which aligned with our own business values.”

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