Feb 23, 2016

Groundbreaking BBBEE deal for Africa’s oldest comms group

Money Web
February 23, 2016

FCB Africa has concluded a BBBEE deal that it believes will have a profound positive influence on young black women as well as a major impact on South Africa’s economy in the years ahead.
FCB Africa has concluded a BBBEE deal that it believes will have a profound positive influence on young black women as well as a major impact on South Africa’s economy in the years ahead.

In terms of the deal, which has an effective date of December 1 2015, the Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg has acquired 15% of FCB Africa. These shares will be held in a trust and all profits made in respect of these shares used to pay the tuition and other education-related expenses for young black women who cannot afford to go to university.

The deal boosts FCB’s total black ownership to over 51% and rockets its total black female ownership to over 31%.

FCB’s first BBBEE deal was concluded in 2003 when a consortium called Bourasque acquired 26% of the agency. At that time, shares were also awarded to previously disadvantaged individuals who worked for FCB.

Announcing the deal, FCB Africa CEO Brett Morris could barely contain his enthusiasm.

“As a company that has always been at the forefront of transformation in the advertising sector, this is an incredibly exciting step for us, and one that rounds off a very inclusive and broad-based approach to our economic empowerment initiatives. In addition to prominent business people and the staff ownership we are proud to now include a broad-based scheme that will impact hundreds of women over time,” Morris enthused.

“Yes, I’m delighted that the deal means that FCB more than ticks all the boxes when it comes to the BEE scorecard. Yes, I’m thrilled that our new status – 51% black owned and 32% black female owned – is a major advantage for our clients when it comes to filling in their own BEE scorecards. But I’m over the moon at the potential this deal could unleash over the years, and look forward to witnessing the impact the graduates have on South Africa’s economy when they enter the workforce as empowered, skilled and well-educated citizens.”

FCB Worldwide CEO, Carter Murray, added: “Brett and his team at FCB Africa have been searching for a BBBEE initiative that truly aligns with the group’s moral compass and, in the vision and daily work of the Maharishi Institute, they have found it.

“We’re all particularly pleased that partnering with the institute in this way will have an exponential benefit over time. Particularly as, given the realities of South Africa, assisting one woman usually provides assistance to many others who rely on her for support, so the impact will be far-reaching” he said.

“The Maharishi Institute was created in 2007 to take access to tertiary education to another level, to showcase South Africa as a leading innovator in education provision, and support the worldwide breakthrough of consciousness-based education,” said Intitute co-founder, Taddy Blecher.

“More than that, it wanted to provide a supportive environment to ensure that its students, who graduate from South African’s high schools in great need of the experiential skills to make them highly employable, are able to take the steps they need to to achieve a life of success and achievement.

“This nurturing and enabling approach is not understood nor appreciated by all. We are delighted to partner with FCB Africa, whose passion and vision for our country mirrors our own.”

The Maharishi Institute is a non-profit organisation established in June 2007 to develop a new generation of leaders for South Africa. Importantly, it does not offer its own educational qualifications and is not a private higher educational institution.

Instead, the Institute provides financial access to the qualifications of its education partners which students access via distance education, while gaining work experience. These include Maharishi University of Management (US), Regenesys Business School, Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, Microsoft IT Academy, CIDA Learning, COMETSA and Knowledge Horizon, plus others.

It also enriches the distance education learning experience and makes it complete through the provision of comprehensive support services, including work experience, infrastructure access, bridging programmes, and self development programmes.


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