Moody’s to acquire Equilibrium in Peru

moodysMoody’s Corporation is to acquire Equilibrium, a provider of credit rating and research services in Peru and other countries in Latin America.

Based in Peru, Equilibrium has operated since 1996. Following the acquisition, Equilibrium will continue to issue domestic ratings in Peru and Panama with an independent analytical and rating committee process. Renzo Barbieri will continue to lead Equilibrium’s operations following the acquisition.

equilibriumThe acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015. Equilibrium’s operations in El Salvador will not be acquired; the other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Equilibrium is highly-regarded for the quality of its credit ratings and research and the broad scope of its analytical coverage,” said Raymond McDaniel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Moody’s. “This acquisition positions Equilibrium to serve the growing needs of issuers and investors across Latin America while deepening Moody’s presence in this dynamic and expanding market.”
Equilibrium and Moody’s Investors Service have had a technical services agreement since 2007, through which Moody’s has provided Equilibrium with technical support .

USA, New York, NY & Peru

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WPP’s Wunderman acquires majority stake in digital marketing agency Phantasia in Peru  

wppWPP’s wholly-owned operating company Wunderman has acquired a majority stake in Binarix S.A.C. (“Phantasia”), a leading digital marketing agency in Peru. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phantasia’s gross revenues for 2014 are expected to be S/.22.2 million. Clients include Telefonica, Backus, Banco de Credito, Samsung and Coca-Cola. Phantasia employs 200 people and is based in Lima. The agency, which provides consulting, digital marketing, creative and media buying services to its clients, was founded in 1998. It has been a Wunderman affiliate since 2012.

UK, London & Peru, Lima

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ITE Group acquires transportation and logistics exhibition business Breakbulk

ITEITE Enterprises Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITE Group Plc, has acquired Breakbulk Holdco UK Ltd and its subsidiary companies from Electra backed, AXIO Data Group for up to $42 million (c.£26.8 million).

Breakbulk consists of a series of exhibitions, serving the transportation and logistics market for large scale project equipment, which are held annually in Houston, Antwerp, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Istanbul and Sao Paulo. In addition, the acquisition brings to ITE a magazine in print and digital format with expanded industry coverage along with its exhibition websites which serve the global breakbulk community.

breakbulkThe transaction is financed out of the Group’s existing cash and bank facilities and is expected to be earnings enhancing in the current financial year. Out of the total consideration of c.$42 million, $40 million was paid on completion with the balance payable once Breakbulk’s results for the period ended 31 December 2015 are available. The value of the gross assets being acquired is around $14m. The total profits generated by the assets acquired in the period ended 31 December 2013 was $2.6m. The Group anticipates that the purchase price equates to circa 8.5x expected FY15 EBITDA.

Breakbulk’s main events take place in Shanghai in March, Antwerp in April and Houston in October. Forward bookings for these 3 events for FY2015 are currently c90% of budget.

The current management team including Breakbulk’s Managing Director, Alli McEntyre will stay with the business.

Commenting on the acquisition, ITE’s Chief Executive Officer, Russell Taylor, said:

“ITE is continuing to build businesses in strategically important industry sectors and the acquisition of Breakbulk increases our presence in the global transportation and logistics sector. This complementary move represents progress in achieving the Group’s ambitions to expand its operations in markets and geographies with further potential for growthas well as continuing to diversify the geo-political risk in our portfolio.

UK, London

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WPP acquires digital agency Clarus in Mexico

wppWPP is to acquire the assets of Maka Marketing Digital S.A. de C.V. and Clarus Digital S.A. de C.V. (“Clarus”), a digital marketing agency in Mexico.

Clarus’ 2014 revenues should reach MXN$ 108 million. Clients include Telcel, Citi-Banamex, Aeromexico, and Sigma Alimentos. The agency, which now employs 112 people, was founded in 2009 and provides full-service digital marketing and media buying capabilities to its clients. It is based in Mexico City.

UK, London & Mexico, Mexico City

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WPP increases its stake in IBOPE, Latin America’s data investment management group

wppWPP’s wholly-owned media research and analytics business, Kantar Media, is to acquire the entire issued quota capital of IBOPE Participações Ltda, which holds a majority of the capital of IBOPE Pesquisa de Midia e Participações Ltda, IBOPE Latinoamericana SA and (collectively the “IBOPE Media Group”).  WPP has been a minority shareowner in the IBOPE Media Group since 1997.

In addition, WPP will acquire the remaining 45% stake that it does not already own in Millward Brown do Brasil Ltda,  a market research agency,  already part of Kantar.  The Group will also acquire a 49% stake in IBOPE Inteligȇncia Pesquisa e Consultoria Ltda, the best-known political and social polling brand in Latin America.

Founded in 1942 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as The Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics, IBOPE is a provider of insight, information and data in the Brazilian and Latin American markets.  The IBOPE Media Group employs over 2,200 people in offices in 16 countries,  throughout Latin America and the United States. 

For the year ending 30 September 2013, IBOPE Media’s gross revenues were R$392 million, with gross assets of R$225 million as at the same date. Clients include media owners, investors and marketing communications agencies.  

Commenting on the deal, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP said:  “I’m very pleased to welcome our long-standing partners at IBOPE fully into the WPP group. This acquisition further strengthens our capabilities in data investment management and at the same time in an important fast growth region. We intend to accelerate and deepen IBOPE’s investment plans in Latin America, enabling us to offer regional clients the critical data they need, both in stand-alone media research and also in ways that combine media and purchase data to even more powerful effect. “

UK, London & Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

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Kantar Health acquires health consultancy services company Evidências in Brazil

WPP’s wholly-owned global healthcare consulting firm, Kantar Health, has acquired Focus Assistência Médica S/S Ltda. and Classe Assistência Médica S/S Ltda. (“Evidências”), a leading healthcare research company, in Brazil.

Evidências’ unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2013 were approximately R$5.8 million with gross assets of approximately R$0.9 million at the same date. Founded in 1998, the company employs 22 people and is based in Campinas with an office in São Paulo.

Evidências provides consultancy and research services in pharmacoeconomic studies and analysis, local dossier submission packages, professional writing, market access and training. It works with all segments of the Brazilian healthcare market, including health insurers, government bodies, hospitals and providers, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.

UK, London & Brazil, São Paulo

JWT acquires majority stake in search engine marketing specialist Blinks in Brazil

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company JWT, the global marketing communications agency, has acquired a majority stake of Mídia 123 Serviços de Publicidade Via Internet Ltda. (“Blinks”), a leading search engine marketing agency in Brazil.

Blinks’ unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2013 were approximately R$11.2 million with gross assets of approximately R$3.3 million at the same date. Clients include Bom Negócio, CVC, Netfarma, Staples, BB Box, Giuliana, and Sem Parar. Founded in 2009, the company employs 81 people and is based in São Paulo.

UK, London & São Paulo, Brazil

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JWT acquires majority stake in digital agency Try in Brazil

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company JWT, a global marketing communications agency, has acquired a majority stake of Cairos Usabilidade Eireli (“Try”), a user experience agency in Brazil that designs and develops custom web, mobile, desktop and touch-enabled applications.

Try’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2013 were approximately R$2.5 million with gross assets of approximately R$0.3 million at the same date. Clients include, Itaú Bank, Porto Seguro, Electrolux, SKY, Serasa-Experian, Havaianas, Prontmed, and Kate Spade. Founded in 2003, the company employs 22 people and is based in São Paulo. Try provides consultancy to their clients in user experience, interaction design and prototyping.

UK, London & São Paulo, Brazil

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6 new WPP acquisitions

wpp1. Kantar acquires majority stake in data visualisation and interactive specialist Guardian Digital Agency, in the UK

WPP’s wholly-owned data investment management arm, Kantar, has acquired the Guardian Digital Agency (“GDA”), a specialist data visualisation, site design and interactive development agency, previously part of Guardian News and Media Group. The company, which employs 13 people, will be rebranded under the new name Graphic. Many of Kantar’s 12 companies have already worked with GDA.

UK, London

 2. Grey to acquire a majority stake in Circus, Peru’s largest independent advertising agency

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company Grey, is to acquire a majority stake in Circus Peru S.A., the largest independent adverting agency in Peru.

Founded in 2008, Circus is a full-service integrated marketing company. Its subsidiaries include Circus Interactive, Circus Retail, Circus Experience, Brand Lab, a design company, and Carne, a second advertising agency. Circus will be integrated into the existing Grey Peru and be renamed Circus Grey.

Circus’ unaudited revenues were PEN 34 million as of December 31, 2013 with net assets of PEN 9.0 million as of the same date. Clients include Grupo Credito, Grupo Falabella, Claro and San Fernando. Based in Lima, the agency employs nearly 200 people.

Other WPP companies active in Peru (including affiliates) are Young & Rubicam, Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson, GroupM, Burson-Marsteller, IBOPE, Kantar Worldpanel, TNS and Geometry Global.

UK, London & Peru, Lima

3. Millward Brown acquires global brand strategy company EffectiveBrands

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company Millward Brown, has acquired EffectiveBrands Holding B.V., a marketing strategy consulting firms.

Founded in 2001 by Marc de Swaan Arons and Frank van den Driest, the company’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 March 2014 were approximately EUR 14.1 million with gross assets at the same date of approximately EUR 6.5 million. Clients include Pernod Ricard, Virgin, Barclays, Unilever and PepsiCo. EffectiveBrands is headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo and employs about 65 people.

Millward Brown will combine EffectiveBrands with Millward Brown Optimor, its strategy consulting unit, to form Millward Brown Vermeer. Millward Brown

UK, London & The Netherlands, Amsterdam

4. WT acquires majority stake in creative agency The Hardy Boys in South Africa

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company JWT, has acquired a majority stake in The Hardy Boys, a leading creative agency in South Africa.

Founded in 1994 in Durban, The Hardy Boys is a multi-disciplinary, brand building agency, with fully integrated activation capabilities. Clients include Unilever, Diageo, SA Home Loans, ADvTECH and RCL Foods amongst others.

The Hardy Boys’ revenues for the year ended 28 February 2014 were approximately ZAR 55 million, with gross assets at the same date of approximately ZAR 32.2 million.

UK, London & South Africa, Durban

5. Kantar Media acquires media intelligence business Precise

WPP’s wholly-owned media research and analytics business Kantar Media, has acquired a majority stake in the issued share capital of Precise Media Group Holdings Limited, a provider of monitoring and evaluation services.

Founded in 1996 and based in London, with offices in New York, Precise employs 430 people servicing 2,500 customers including multinational corporations, PR agencies, public sector bodies and SME clients. For the year ending 30 September 2013, Precise’s revenues were £28.9 million, with gross assets as at the same date of £34.4 million.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

6. XM Asia to acquire majority stake in Sofresh in Vietnam

WPP’s wholly owned operating company, XM Asia, a JWT company, is to acquire a majority stake in Sofresh, a leading digital creative agency in Vietnam.

Sofresh, co-founded in 2007 by Ly Viet Vu and Justin Cohen, develops digital strategy, digital creative ideas and marketing campaigns across multiple digital channels, including social media, mobile and the web. The company also designs and builds e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management systems and in-store digital installations.

Sofresh works with a range of local and global clients, including Diageo, GSK, Kinh Do, Techcombank and Unilever.

Sofresh had revenues of VND 35.7 billion for the year ending December 31, 2013, with gross assets of VND 30.1 billion, as at the same date. The company employs 85 people.

Sofresh marks WPP’s third acquisition in Vietnam in seven months. In Vietnam, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of about $80 million and employ approximately 1,000 people.

UK, London & Vietnam

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UBM acquires Expo CIHAC in Mexico

UBMUBM plc has acquired Expo CIHAC from Centro Impulsor de la Construcción y Habitación A.C. (CIHAC), the Mexican construction industry trade association. CIHAC is to provide long-term support for Expo CIHAC. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Expo CIHAC is based in Mexico City. Eleven of the business’s existing employees will transfer to UBM.

Expo CIHAC was launched in 1989 and is now among Mexico’s ten largest tradeshows and the largest serving the infrastructure, construction and housing markets. Held annually in October, Expo CIHAC exhibitors span the industry including construction materials, machinery, equipment, hand and power tools, prefabricated building systems and technologies, financial services, real estate, insulation and piping. Expo CIHAC also hosts around 30 co-located conference and technical seminars on topical issues. Last year’s 25th edition attracted 30,000 attendees and over 500 exhibitors, and generated revenues of approximately £4 million.

The Mexican construction industry is seeing significant investment driven by growth in the Mexican economy, demand for housing,cihac and government infrastructure funding programmes. The Mexican construction industry is also increasingly looking to adopt sustainable construction practices and technologies in use in Europe, Canada and the US. Expo CIHAC is complementary to a number of UBM shows serving the global Built Environment sector including Negocios Nos Trilhos, the Concrete Show Brasil (whose Mexican edition launches this May) and Ecobuild with an Expo CIHAC / Ecobuild collaboration announced earlier this year. Return on the acquisition is expected to exceed UBM’s cost of capital in the first full year of ownership.

Jamie Salazar, Managing Director, UBM Mexico said: “We are delighted to have Expo CIHAC as UBM’s first tradeshow acquisition in Mexico. Expo CIHAC builds on UBM’s established strategy of acquiring strong events which serve structurally growing markets and communities. We look forward to welcoming the Expo CIHAC team to UBM, and to continuing our close,
positive co-operation with the CIHAC association.”

UK, London & Mexico, Mexico City

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