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HomeAirlinesEthiopian AirlinesMSL affiliate MARCO buys majority stake in Africa's ACG and eyes London...

MSL affiliate MARCO buys majority stake in Africa’s ACG and eyes London opening

The ACG deal will create a combined entity with more than 200 employees in 16 offices, with more than 100 clients. It will be called MARCO and Africa Communications Media Group (MARCO Africa – ACG).

ACG is headquartered in South Africa, with offices in Ivory Coast and Kenya plus partners in Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Nigeria and affiliated offices in more than 40 other African countries. Its clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mercedes Benz, Bloomberg and Ethiopian Airlines.

Billed as the first African-owned, pan-African and fully integrated comms firm, ACG was founded in 2015 by CEO Mimi Kalinda, whose previous roles include Africa lead at FleishmanHillard and director of comms at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Kalinda was the first black African woman to become a VJ on MTV in London in 2000, and was also part of the African Union’s campaign against Ebola with fundraising of over $51m.

Following the deal, Kalinda will lead the comms operations supporting MARCO group clients in the sub-Saharan market, the agency said. She will work directly with MARCO founder and CEO Didier Lagae on country branding. Linda Weaver, ACG chief operations officer and second in command at the agency, will report to Samira Sitail, who heads MARCO’s operations in the Maghreb region.

The two agencies have worked as partners for several years and the new deal represents a significant expansion of MARCO’s activities in Africa. For the past eight years, the agency has worked with clients in the Maghreb region via its office in Casablanca, Morocco. Clients have included the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Investment Bank. MARCO has also led international outreach for COP22 in Marrakesh in 2016 and supported the government of Morocco with a five-year global support programme to encourage investment.

MARCO, which is headquartered in Madrid, pointed to the expected strong GDP growth in several African countries in 2021,…

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