Shine partners with Australian independent agency group Bastion.

Simon Curran
November 16, 2021

NZ independent agency Shine has signed a partnership with Australian independent agency group Bastion after an extensive search by KPMG and Minter Ellison Rudd Watt.

The deal means Bastion will take a majority stake in Shine, and all existing owners remain shareholders and will continue to run the agency. The agency will be renamed Bastion Shine.

This marks a continuation of strong momentum for the NZ independent, founded 16 years ago.  Through the challenges of Covid over the last two years Shine has expanded it’s service offering into people and performance, CX and digital enablement, as well as picking up large new clients in the form of Air New Zealand and Airpoints.

The deal will now give Shine access to additional capabilities to bring to the NZ market, as well as channels to take their services global.  

“We’ve been looking for a partner that can help us scale our business more quickly than we can alone. Bastion gives us that opportunity to not only access global markets in Australia and the US, but also to bring new capabilities into the New Zealand market. We’re really excited about the opportunities this presents on both levels” said Simon Curran, co-founder and CEO of Shine.  

Shine will be the largest acquisition to date for family owned Bastion, who now become the largest independent agency group in Australasia.  

“We weren’t really interested in being swallowed up by a global network, and after a meeting of minds and philosophy with Jack Watts and the Bastion team, we knew we had found the right partners. They’re building a global independent model with all the benefits of being part of a group, with retaining the advantages of being independently run. For Shine, it’s an ideal scenario” said Curran.  

Shine’s Chief Strategy Officer Andy McLeish underlined the unique benefits this partnership presents for all parties:  “This deal is a win-win for everyone involved. The owners of Shine remain heavily vested in the business, and remain in control of our own destiny. And our clients now get access to expertise to tap into across the Bastion group both in New Zealand and offshore markets. And our staff here will retain the benefits of working for owners independently, while having access to a larger network with career opportunities overseas. We’re hugely excited about the opportunities this presents.”

CEO of Bastion Jack Watt see’s the partnership with Shine as a key part of the Bastion Groups growth plan. “We are on a mission to build the New World Agency, globally. In every market we operate in, we look for a partner who thinks wide across the breadth of communications disciplines, and believes that the future of agencies is independence at scale. In the team at Shine, not only did we find this, but we also we found a shared set of values and principles that I have rarely experienced. For more than a decade we have both built similar businesses on either sides of the Tasman and to unite now is beyond exciting for our business, our people and our clients. It felt right from the first meeting”

About Bastion

  • With 300 staff globally, Bastion is the largest independent communications agency group  in Australasia, with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Los Angeles, Newport Beach and New York
  • Bastion’s vision is to create the new world agency, globally. An agency that is unencumbered by the archaic legacy structures of multinational holding groups and mad-men era advertising agencies  
  • Bastion was started in 2009, by two brothers, Fergus and Jack Watts, who were respectively 24 and 22 years old at the time. Over the past 10 years, Bastion has now grown to become the largest independent agency in Australasia, with a long term objective to achieve the same feat in the US  
  • Bastion major clients globally – Microsoft, Google, KFC, and L’Oreal

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