Hume Brophy expands into China with Hong Kong acquisition

Ireland’s largest communications agency acquires Madaket in ‘landmark deal’

Conall Mc Devitt, left,  of  Hume Brophy, who said the company had witnessed a rapid pick-up in demand for its services across Asia. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Conall Mc Devitt, left, of Hume Brophy, who said the company had witnessed a rapid pick-up in demand for its services across Asia. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Irish public relations firm Hume Brophy has acquired Hong Kong and New York-based consultancy Madaket for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition gives Hume Brophy its first full-time presence in China while bolstering its footprint in the US, and is seen as a “landmark deal” for the company, which now employs more than 120 staff.

Chief executive Conall McDevitt said the firm had witnessed a rapid pick-up in demand for its services across Asia, where it operates from a base in Singapore and represents companies such as Uber and bike-sharing firm Mobike.

Last year, it advised Uber’s Chinese arm on a $35 billion merger with rival car-hailing service Didi.

Untapped

“The opportunity in Asia, in Hong Kong and mainland China, remains largely untapped by global public relations agencies and, in particular, independently-owned public relations agencies,” Mr McDevitt said.

“What you’re seeing across Asia but particularly in China is significant growth in companies driven by disruptive technologies, and behind those companies is a huge revolution in financial services,” he said.

Mr McDevitt also cited a recent PwC report, which predicted that China and India would overtake the US as the world’s economic superpowers by 2050.

“The acquisition of Madaket ticks a number of boxes for Hume Brophy’s international growth plans. It gives us an experienced team in Hong Kong, a strategic leader to grow our business in the US, and a presence in, and full coverage of, the world’s three leading capital markets,” he said.

Communications specialist

Founded in 2005, Hume Brophy initially carved out a reputation as a communications specialist in the financial services area, which remains a core part of the business, but it has since expanded into other sectors to become Ireland’s largest communications agency with a network of operations across Europe, Asia and North America.

In Ireland, its clients include Facebook, MetLife, the National Lottery and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

Under the terms of the new deal, Madaket’s founder Josh Nova will become Hume Brophy’s managing director in the US.

“I have long felt that being part of a bigger and global offering is the best way for this team and our business to reach its potential, but it was crucial that we shared a philosophy of dedication to our clients, creative thinking and entrepreneurship in our people and strategic vision in our approach,” Mr Nova said.