J Walter Thompson's parent network, WPP, has acquired a "significant" minority stake in Hirschen Group, an independent agency group in Germany.
Hirschen Group took revenues of $41.9 million last year and provides advertising, PR, public affairs, consulting and strategy services.
It employs more than 500 people in nine offices since being founded in 1995 by Bernd Heusinger and Marcel Loko. Martin Blach joined as its chief executive in 2005.
JWT currently employs 150 staff in Germany across offices in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart.
A spokesman for JWT said Hirschen Group will continue to be run as a separate shop and its offices in Frankfurt and Stuttgart will not merge with the existing JWT offices.
Loko told Campaign last year that Hirschen Group was Germany’s fifth-largest owner-run agency and that half its staff "are now digital natives or have a digital background."
The investment is JWT's latest acquisition. Last week it acquired a minority stake in Wanda Digital, an independent agency in Istanbul.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and JWT’s parent, WPP, said in a statement that Hirschen Group would maintain its independent positioning.
The statement added: "This investment continues WPP’s strategy of developing its services in fast-growing and important markets."
Germany is WPP’s fourth largest market after the US, UK and China and generates revenues of $1.4 million for the network.
This article first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.