Dentsu Aegis Network Acquires Merdeka LHS and Forms Dentsu LHS in Malaysia


( – Dentsu Aegis Network today announces that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Merdeka LHS Sdn. Bhd. (Merdeka LHS), a creative boutique and brand consultancy led by Malaysia’s acclaimed advertising practitioners Tony Savarimuthu, Huang Ean Hwa and Szu Lee. Merdeka LHS will join forces with Dentsu Malaysia to form Dentsu LHS.

Started operations in 2013 and based in Kuala Lumpur, Merdeka LHS was the brainchild of Savarimuthu, Huang and Lee. They had previously led McCann Worldgroup Malaysia for a decade steering the agency to phenomenal business growth and collectively winning six Agency of the Year awards and over 750 creative and effectiveness awards. Huang and Lee were also the winners of Malaysia’s first-ever Gold Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in 1999.

Savarimuthu will lead the newly formed Dentsu LHS Group, serving as its Chief Executive Officer. Strengthening the operations are both Huang and Lee who will be appointed as Chief Creative Officers. In addition, Merdeka LHS will continue operations as a brand under Dentsu LHS with Huang as its Chairman. Merdeka LHS’ will offer brand invention and design solutions with Islamic consulting forming part of their portfolio of services.

Dentsu LHS 2

From left to right: Huang, Szu, van Motman, Savarimuthu and Lim after Dentsu Aegis Network inked a deal to acquire Merdeka LHS to join forces with Dentsu Malaysia and form Dentsu LHS.)

Dick van Motman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu Aegis Network Southeast Asia said: “The acquisition of Merdeka LHS is part of a carefully planned evolution of Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia. It began with Nicky Lim’s appointment as CEO of the network followed by Darren’s promotion to CEO of Carat and now the addition of the exceptional talent of Tony, Hwa and Szu to the leadership team. Together, Merdeka LHS and Dentsu Malaysia will form a new agency proposition for the digital age, with complementary skills in innovation and creativity that will benefit our clients. This is an exciting step for all stakeholders and I look forward to seeing the new leadership team flourish, charting the next chapter of growth for Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia.”

Championing the acquisition, Nicky Lim, Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia said: “This acquisition marks the dawn of a new era for Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia where the name of the game is delivering innovative solutions. This new partnership between Merdeka LHS and Dentsu Malaysia lends added creative strength for the Dentsu Aegis Network in Malaysia – truly a win for everyone. I’m confident that people of the calibre of Tony, Hwa and Szu will continue to strive further in their pursuit for creative excellence and maximise our collective abilities to grow our clients’ businesses.”

Takaki Hibino, Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu Branded Agencies in Asia-Pacific said: “Bringing these industry leaders into our network will power up our business offerings for our clients and strengthen our creative ambitions in the region. We anticipate lots of great work to come out of this new and exciting agency.”

Tony Savarimuthu, CEO of Dentsu LHS commented: “Dentsu is a formidable force in the way they approach media, technology, content, sponsorships and integrate this with creative and innovative solutions. The mission of Merdeka LHS fits well within Dentsu and we see many synergies and game changing opportunities ahead. We are committed to innovate the way brands are built for our clients.”

The deal is expected to close in early April.


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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

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