X3M Ideas, one of the leading creative agencies in Nigeria, may be making an announcement on the acquisition of an offshore advertising business anytime soon.
A consultant has been contracted to study a number of markets and advise the agency on where to invest its money.
The five-year old marketing outfit is keen to expand its footprints beyond Nigeria into other markets in Africa, after it has successfully established itself as a top agency in Nigeria. It is a move the agency say will position it better to service clients’ brand and reinforce its rising corporate profile in the continent.
Speaking recently about the plan, the CEO of X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko said, “We are not doing this things because we want to feel like we are big businessmen, we are doing them because we need to provide quality services to our clients. We are not going to jump into a market and start acquiring. So we are studying the rules in a few markets before we can then acquire.”
But beyond transforming into a multinational agency, X3M Ideas is also strategically looking at leveraging the process to expand its competences, especially in the area of technology, which is fast becoming the game-changer in the field of advertising.
“Beyond just strategy and creativity, we need to be able to buy into strategic places like research, media buying and even the digital space,” Babaeko explained. He also revealed that he is also looking forward to reinforcing his agency’s competences in the field of engineers, programming and coding.
“You cannot hire people who studied Mass Communication in school. Those skill set are no longer enough for the new eco-system.”
In five years of setting up X3M Ideas, Babaeko has offered leadership and enterprise that has made the agency one of Nigeria’s fastest growing creative outfits. X3M ideas has brought it revolutionary creative touch on major brands like Access Bank, Etisalat, now 9mobile, Peak Milk and many other brands.
No time line has been set for the consummation of the acquisition but that is not the only expansion plan in Babaeko’s books.
The former Creative Director at 141 Worldwide is also looking up the possibility of enlisting in the Nigerian Stock Exchange to raise funds for its company’s operations.
If he succeeds in doing that, X3M Ideas will become the first marketing communications agency in Nigeria to do so, but he will be following in the footsteps of leading global networks like WPP, Publicis, Omnicom Group and others.
Though no concrete steps has been taking in that regard, but Babaeko disclosed that he has already made some preliminary findings on how to get into the exchange.
“I have spoken unofficially to some people in the stock exchange. But I need to conclude with them on what we need to do,” he said.
Babaeko has also called on agency owners in Nigeria to embrace the reality of mergers and acquisition in the face of the present economic reality which has undermined the stability and long term sustainability of the industry. He noted that operators should not wait to be legislated into M&A as was done in the banking sector but should see.