VILNIUS — Havas Group has finalised a deal to acquire a 51% stake in Lithuanian-owned Publicum Group and Estonian-owned Idea Group, which merged at the end of 2018 to form what is said to be the largest communications group in the Baltics.

The merged group will operate under the name Havas Baltics and will represent the Havas Group in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

Havas Baltics is made up of 20 companies, employing more than 250 people that between them provide media planning, creative, public relations, digital marketing and other communications services.

Clients across the company include Hyundai, JDE, Samsung, Philip Morris, Mars, Tele2, GSK, LIDL, Coca-Cola, Neste, Estrella and Kesko Senukai. Group turnover in the Baltics group exceeded €50 million last year.

Publicum founder Ricardas Jarmalavicius and Idea owner Mark Eikner remain in post and on the management and supervisory boards of Havas Baltics as partners.

Eikner said: “Havas’ readiness to integrate fully into the Baltic market is a great compliment to our entire team. It means that our long-term work has attracted the attention and trust of a strong global player.”

And Jarmalavicius added: “In recent years, such investments have not been made in the Baltics in our field. We believe Havas’ contribution will give a boost to the development of our products, services and, especially, our technology. In this manner we can make strides forward, for example, in the digital world, and provide our customers with world-class solutions.”

Havas Group chairman and CEO Yannick Bolloré said: “I am delighted that Havas is now officially represented in the Baltics by its own agencies. We have full confidence in our local managers and current structure of the newly formed group.

“We will provide every kind of support to help grow the business, for example through Havas’ own social, mobile and digital platforms, and through our parent company Vivendi’s assets such as Canal+ and Universal Music. This will provide our Baltic teams with new opportunities and power to expand their networks.”