Interpublic Group (IPG) subsidiary MullenLowe Group has agreed to sell the majority of its shareholding in MullenLowe Japan to local management holding company bionomica KK, strengthening local ownership to best take advantage of new opportunities in the post-covid consumer culture. The new company will be called Fabric and will retain a close affiliation with the MullenLowe Group network, and IPG more broadly.
IPG and MullenLowe Group remain committed to Japan, retaining a 15% stake in the business. This stake and relationship in one of the world’s largest consumer economies enables both parties to retain more active collaboration and access to resources than would be the case in a full divestment.
Fabric will use strategic thinking and storytelling to help businesses reframe problems and create shared value with customers and communities, weaving partner brands into a new social fabric that is emerging – where the brands that succeed are the ones that enable culture, nurture relationships, and act on sustainability. It offers strong local knowledge coupled with international standards, tools & methodologies. The new management holding company is controlled and led by former MullenLowe Japan CEO, James Hollow (pictured), who has been with the network since 2013.
Hollow said: “This is a time of change at many levels. Covid has accelerated trends that we were seeing in what society expects from businesses and brands, pushed by government regulation, consumer demand for more sustainable options, and the relationship that customers want to have with companies both as consumers and employees. This move allows us to focus on helping clients weave their brands into this new social fabric, by combining our heritage strengths in marketing communications with newly acquired strategic expertise and market insight.”
The move to transition MullenLowe Japan to local majority control is consistent with MullenLowe Group’s strategy to create a more agile network in Asia built around market, team and individual skill sets and experience with fewer controlled hubs.