Millward Brown acquires research firm InsightExpress in the US

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company, Millward Brown, has acquired InsightExpress, a provider of media analytics and marketing accountability solutions in the United States. InsightExpress will be combined with Millward Brown Digital, the company’s US-based digital unit.

InsightExpress’ unaudited revenues for the period ended 31 December 2013 were US$26.4 million with gross assets of US$8.8 million as of the same date. The company has over 200 clients including NBCUniversal, Google, Netflix, Hulu and Microsoft. Founded in 1999, the company is based in Stamford, CT, with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco and employs 100 people.

UK, London & USA, Stamford, CT

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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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WPP to acquire digital marketing agency Quirk in South Africa

wppWPP is to to acquire Quirk, Africa’s largest independently owned digital marketing agency, subject to regulatory approval.

Founded in 1999 in South Africa, Quirk has built a strong reputation for helping clients adapt and win in an ever-changing digitally-enabled world. With five agencies across Africa and in London, the company employs 200 people. Clients include Distell, Capitec Bank, Woolworths, Caltex and Tyco.

Quirk’s unaudited consolidated revenues for the year ended 28 February 2014 were approximately ZAR 140 million, with gross assets at the same date of approximately ZAR 68 million.

UK, London & South Africa, Cape Town

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GroupM takes majority stake in mobile media agency aMVG (Aerodeon) in Turkey

wppWPP‘s wholly-owned global media investment management company GroupM, is to take majority stake in aMVG (Aerodeon), the mobile media agency and mobile technology company in Turkey.

Founded in 2002, aMVG (Aerodeon) specialises in developing mobile media strategies and technologies for its clients.  This includes mobile media buying and planning, mobile marketing campaigns, mobile loyalty platforms, mobile applications development, ad server technologies (mobile and video) and content distribution/digital services.

The agency employs approximately 40 people and serves more than 300 clients including Avea, Dailymotion, Garanti Bank, Fiat, Finansbank, Fizy, Shell, Turkcell, Turk Telekom, Vodafone and Yapı Kredi Bank.

 aMVG’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2013 were TRY8.9 million with gross assets of approximately TRY8.4 million as at the same date.

UK, London & Turkey, Istanbul

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GreyPossible acquires the business of Media Republic in The Netherlands

wppWPP has announced that GreyPOSSIBLE, the strategic partnership between WPP’s wholly owned businesses, advertising and marketing network Grey EMEA, and global interactive marketing agency POSSIBLE Worldwide, has acquired the business and assets of MR Development BV a creative digital marketing company in The Netherlands.

Media Republic will become part of GreyPOSSIBLE Benelux, formed in 2013 by the merger of Grey’s Amsterdam and Brussels operations with Possible Amsterdam.

Established in 2002, and based in Amsterdam, Media Republic’s clients include APG, Axe, de Bijenkorf, Bugaboo, DSM, Miele and Philips. Media Republic’s revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012 was US$1.7 million with gross assets at the same date of US$582,000. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

UK, London & The Netherlands, Amsterdam

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WPP acquires app creator Bottle Rocket

wppWPP is to acquire Bottle Rocket, a company that creates iPhone, iPad and Android apps for leading brands. The agency will work horizontally with other operating companies across WPP. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

bottle rocketFounded in 2008, Bottle Rocket’s unaudited revenue for the previous twelve months ended September 2013 was US $17 million. Clients include NPR, Scripps Networks, ABC News, National Geographic and NBC Universal. Based in Dallas, Texas, the company has grown from about 45 employees in 2011 to 170 today.

UK, London & USA, Dallas, TX

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WPP’s VML acquires IM2.0, a digital advertising and media agency in China

wppWPP‘s wholly owned operating company VML, a  digital marketing company which is part of the Y&R network, has acquired IM2.0, a digital advertising and media agency based in China. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Established in 2008, IM2.0 provides a range of services, including online strategy, creative design, website development and maintenance, online campaigns, mobile application development, media optimisation and data analytics.

IM2.0 is one of China’s leading and most successful pure play digital agencies. Named 2013 Agency of the Year in China by the Mobile Marketing Association, IM2.0’s client portfolio includes Dell, adidas, Mondelez, China Merchant Bank and Haier.

IM2.0 employs approximately 230 people in Beijing and Shanghai. For the year ending 31 December 2012, IM2.0’s unaudited revenues were RMB 72 million, with gross assets of RMB 200 million.

UK, London & China, Beijing and Shanghai

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