Bidvest Media snaps up digital agency Retroviral

South Africa’s Retroviral Digital Communications has just been purchased by Bidvest Media, a division of the JSE-listed Bidvest Group Limited.

Revealed in a recent press announcement, Bidvest Media has purchased a majority stake in the five-year-old digital agency. This adds to its growing digital marketing arm which consists of sports marketing and sponsorship agency MSC Sports as well as airport’s media company Create.

Retroviral co-founder Mike Sharman retains an interest in the company under the Bidvest Media umbrella and is committed to remain at its helm together with its employees. Co-founder Murray Legg has exited from Retroviral.

The agency will retain current clients but will have access to tap into more outside of South Africa given Bidvest’s international reach. With respectable clients like the BBC, Cadbury, Converse, M-Net and BMW, Retroviral has over the years established itself as a reputable brand in the local space.

“Retroviral is a proudly South African company. The acquisition opportunity from Bidvest Media offered us the best of both worlds as we remain a world class, African entity, with added capacity to expand internationally where the Bidvest Group has a presence,” says Sharman.

CEO Bidvest Media Neil Jankelowitz adds: “The acquisition of the majority stake in Retroviral is a strategic investment as Retroviral has the capabilities to offer digital marketing services to the entire Bidvest Group.”

Bidvest Media is determined to take advantage of the global trend towards the seamless integration of the physical world and digital worlds, via organic expansion and strategic acquisitions.

Sharman, who’s also co-founder of digital-influencer advertising platform Webfluential, adds the following:

We’ve adopted a disruptive approach to digital in the five years since we launched Retroviral. We will continue to create tomorrow what doesn’t exist today by challenging our clients and our competitors. Through this deal, we will package and export our strategic and tactical solutions — in the uniquely Retroviral way; #WhyWeDoDigital.

As mentioned by MarkLives, Webfluential is excluded from the deal. Sharman was unavailable for comment at time of publication.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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