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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dentsu acquires Capital 18's stake in Webchutney

An edited version of this story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Friday, May 24, 2013.

The Dentsu India Group has acquired 80% stake in Webchutney from Capital18 (venture capital arm of Network18) for an undisclosed sum. With around 200 employees, Webchutney is one of India’s leading digital agencies working in the areas of web design, social media, mobile and experiential digital advertising.

Rohit Ohri, executive chairman, Dentsu India Group, said, that partnership with Webchutney is another step in building the network of the future. "We’re now going to be able to put world class digital solutions in the centre of our offering to our clients," said Ohri.

Webchutney is Dentsu's first acquisition in the digital space. The integrated communication solutions provider had earlier acquired stake in Taproot India as well.

Though financial terms related to this deal were kept under wraps, Network18 informed that this divestment was in line with its strategy of monetising its investments and claimed the investment has generated a return of over 300% to the company.

Network18 held 70.06% stake in the company, through its investment arms Capital18 Limited Mauritius which held 49.42% stake and Capital18 Fincap Pvt Ltd which held 20.64% stake.

In the works for a while now, earlier media reports had pegged the deal size to be between Rs 40 crore and Rs 60 crore. For the fiscal 2012, Webchutney had registered a profit of Rs 6.35 crore on total revenue of Rs 21.55 crore.

Founded by Sidharth Rao and Sudesh Samaria in 1999, Webchutney will continue to operate independently under the management control of its current leadership.

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