Primedia looking to exit Prezence Digital to third-party buyers

Prezence

Prezence

This just in: Primedia group is looking to sell Prezence, the digital agency it’s held shares in for nearly a decade.

Memeburn can confirm that Primedia is looking to offload Prezence, because it no longer falls within its “core remit”. Prezence describes itself as one of Africa’s most prominent digital agencies, “specialising in taming the complex world of digital technology”.

Established in the UK in 1998 by Tim Bishop, Prezence Digital expanded into South Africa in 2002. The agency, which originally focused on the South African music and movie industries, evolved into the digital sphere with services such as mobi, web, digital campaign management, social media and, more recently, apps. In 2005, Primedia acquired shares in the company and incorporated it into the Primedia digital group.

Prezence Digital made headlines in 2012 for its wildly successful MandelaStory campaign, with the endorsement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday. The campaign was featured on CNN, ITN and leading tech site Mashable.com.

The company has a 30-man staff and has been under the management of a Johannesburg team since the departure of CEO Prakash Patel, who exited under a year after founder Tim Bishop was bought out.

According to a statement from Primedia group, the company still has a number of great clients and the team is as motivated as ever but the company doesn’t fit the group’s core focus.

“For more than a decade Prezence has been at the forefront of developing digital and mobile solutions for a variety of blue chip clients,” Primedia told Memeburn. “Today, the company enjoys a rich asset in the form of its people, who are responsible for creating some of South Africa’s most popular digital products.”

Despite that, the company is still looking to sell and confirmed that it is currently in discussions with possible buyers.

“Primedia Group is, however, of the view that Prezence does not fall within our core remit or other media assets. We can confirm that we are in negotiations with third parties to sell Prezence,” the group said. “We are committed to a responsible and controlled exit which means neither client nor staff interests will be jeopardised’.”

Update:

Below is the latest statement from Primedia

After a detailed review of Primedia’s existing assets and media platforms, we believe that Prezence — as a leading digital and mobile solutions business — should be housed in a software and solutions, or an advertising agency environment, rather than in a media and entertainment group. Primedia is committed to a responsible and controlled exit process, safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders. This will ensure that Prezence’s clients receive uninterrupted service throughout the process, and that the company’s staff are able to continue creating and delivering internationally acclaimed work.


Listen to Mich Atagana and Stuart Thomas chat about this story on our show BurnCast

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143707022″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]

Image: Prezence via Facebook.

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