Bidvest buys into local online communications start-up Retroviral Digital Communications

July 10, 2015


Bidvest Media has taken another step to establish itself as a major JSE-listed Bidvest Group subsidiary through the acquisition of a majority stake in local online communications agency Retroviral Digital Communications for an undisclosed amount.

The division’s first “real” acquisition would mark a venture into the digital marketing sector as Bidvest Media absorbed the Sandton-based start-up as a subsidiary.

“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 CEO Neil Jankelowitz said on Tuesday. Speaking to media at a briefing in Johannesburg, he said Bidvest Media previously bought sports marketing and sponsorship agency MSC Sports and established airport media company Create Media.

“Bidvest Media is determined to take advantage of the global trend towards the seamless integration of the physical world and digital worlds, [through] organic expansion and strategic acquisitions,” he added. Despite no other acquisition deals currently on the table, the division would continue to rapidly expand and target further growth as it bedded down its latest addition.

Bidvest planned to double the smaller subsidiary’s profitability within the next three years and build and grow on what had been achieved to date. While Retroviral cofounder Murray Legg relinquished his stake and operational role in the business, fellow cofounder Mike Sharman, who retained his interest, would remain at the helm leading the current team under the Bidvest Media umbrella.

“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. “Retroviral will continue to provide its creative digital marketing services to brands across the local market, as well as to other brands within the international Bidvest group of companies,” said Sharman. Source: Engineering News