WPP’s December acquisitions – Crystal Semantics, Vocanic, Social Lab, Fisheye Analytics, Richard Attias & Associates, ARMI, RC&M, ClickMedia and MASSCOM

wppWPP ends the year with nine acquisitions.

1) Mindshare to acquire MASSCOM media agency in Philippines: December 20, 2013

WPP’s wholly owned operating company, Mindshare, a global media agency network, is to acquire the business and assets of Media Arts System and Services Company, Inc. in the Philippines.

MASSCOM was established in 1986 as an independent media agency, serving Unilever exclusively in the Philippines. MASSCOM provides media planning, strategy and buying services to Unilever, the global fast-moving consumer goods company and a top advertiser in the Philippines.

2) GroupM to acquire majority stake in social media marketing agency, ClickMedia in Vietnam: December 19, 2013

WPP’s wholly owned operating company, GroupM, WPP’s global media investment management arm, is to acquire a majority stake in ClickMedia, a social media marketing agency in Vietnam.

Established in 2008, ClickMedia is a full service social media marketing firm which provides social media strategy, campaign strategy and implementation, as well as social media listening, crisis prevention and management.

Clients include Unilever, FrieslandCampina, Piaggio and Estee Lauder. ClickMedia’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012 were VND 23.7 billion with unaudited gross assets at the same date of VND 12.0 billion. The agency employs 55 people.

3) Grey to acquire majority stake in RC&M, a rural communications and marketing services provider in India: December 18, 2013

WPP’s wholly owned operating company, Grey, the advertising network of Grey Group, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in RC&M, one of India’s largest rural communications and marketing services providers.

RC&M is a pioneer in experiential marketing in India, delivering integrated activation solutions, encompassing creative designing to production & implementation. With a formidable reach across 400,000 Indian villages and 5,000 towns, the company is a leader in the organised rural/semi-urban activation market.

Founded in 1990, RC&M is headquartered in Delhi, with offices in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

RC&M’s unaudited revenues for the year ending 31 March 2013 were approximately INR 360 million. The company employs more than 320 people and services clients in the automotive, industrial automation, FMCG and durable sectors.

RC&M marks WPP’s 12th acquisition in India in the last nine years.

4) Millward Brown acquires majority stake in ARMI-Marketing in Russia and Ukraine: December 18, 2013

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company Millward Brown, a global leader in brand, media and communications research, is to acquire a majority stake in ARMI-Marketing in Russia.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Moscow, ARMI is a leading provider of market research services in Russia and Ukraine. Clients include leading multinational and local brands, including two-thirds of Russia’s top 15 advertisers.

ARMI’s consolidated unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012 were approximately RUB 735 million. The company employs around 200 people.

5) WPP takes stake in Richard Attias & Associates: December 17, 2013

WPP has taken a 30% stake in strategic consultants Richard Attias & Associates.

Under the active leadership of founder chairman Richard Attias, RAA has built a reputation for helping governments and corporations articulate their global objectives.

Events led by Attias include the World Economic Forum in Davos and other regions, the Clinton Global Initiative, launch of the Euro in 2000, the 2008 Arab Strategy Forum, the APEC CEO Summit in Hawaii, the 15th African Securities Exchange Association in Marrakech, Doha GOALS Forum, The Middle East Peace Summit in Jordan, the contract for the signature of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Marrakech, the Monaco Media Forum and the Nobel Laureates Conference. In 2010, Richard Attias founded The New York Forum, an annual meeting to promote economic leadership and in 2012, The New York Forum AFRICA, a pan-African business and investment platform. In 2014, RAA will be producing 14 symposiums.

Commenting on the partnership, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said, “By building this partnership with global influencer Richard Attias , WPP confirms its strategy to support countries to brand their nations and corporations to have access to faster growing markets. Our ambition is to create together with Richard a world champion in the field of strategic communication, international conferences and global action oriented events.”

RAA is based in New York, with other offices in Paris, London, Rabat and Dubai. RAA employs 50 people and has revenues of around US$35 million.

Public sector clients of RAA have included the African Development Bank, Bahrain, Brazil, China, Dubai, France, Gabon, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, UAE, UK, United Nations and the US.

6) Kantar to acquire Fisheye Analytics, a media monitoring and analytics services business in Singapore : December 16, 2013

WPP’s wholly-owned data investment management business Kantar, is to acquire the entire issued share capital of Fisheye Analytics Pte. Ltd., a media monitoring and analytics services business based in Singapore.

Founded in 2009 in Singapore with an R&D centre in Hyderabad, Fisheye employs 14 people. The company, which will become part of Kantar Media, works with some of the biggest sports governing bodies, international organisations and governments from Europe to Asia.

For the year ending 31 October 2013, Fisheye’s unaudited revenues were SGD 782,871, with gross assets as at the same date of SGD 332,162.

7) Ogilvy & Mather to acquire majority stake in social marketing agency, Social Lab in Belgium : December 12, 2013

WPP’s wholly-owned marketing communications network, Ogilvy & Mather, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Social Lab, a social marketing agency based in Belgium with offices in Paris and Amsterdam.

Founded in 2010 and employing 50 people, Social Lab specialises in social media marketing. Clients include IKEA, Club Med, Interbrew, L’Oréal, Galbani, Electrabel GDF Suez, Nespresso, Oasis, Delhaize and the National Lotery. Social Lab’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012 were EUR 3.1 million with gross assets as at the same date of EUR 0.4million.

8) GroupM to acquire majority stake in Vocanic, a social media marketing business in Asia : December 10, 2013

WPP’s wholly-owned operating company, GroupM, WPP’s global media investment management arm, is to acquire a majority stake in Vocanic Pte Ltd., a social media marketing business in Asia.

Based in Singapore with offices in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, Vocanic is a full service social media marketing firm. Established in 2005, Vocanic has 70 people providing social media strategy consulting, social technology, social media program and campaign management, community management and social media analytics.

For the year ending 31 December 2012, Vocanic’s revenues were SGD 4.3 million, with gross assets of SGD 2.1 million.

Vocanic’s client list includes blue chip business partners such as StarHub, Axis, EDB, SAP, Astro, Unilever, Dell, Symantec, Mead Johnson, Danone, WingTai Retail, MHD, and Standard Chartered Bank.

9) 24/7 Media acquires digital agency Crystal Semantics In the UK: December 9, 2013

WPP Digital’s marketing technology company 24/7 Media, has acquired the entire issued share capital of Crystal Semantics Limited. Crystal Semantics is a provider of semantic advertising solutions.

With its proprietary technology, Crystal Semantics accurately matches advertising to the meaning of a page of web content, greatly reducing the risk of inappropriate advertising placement. With the acquisition, the combined companies will provide distinct advantages to both advertiser and publisher clients through improved advertising relevance and enhanced brand protection. Founded in 2001 and based in London, Crystal Semantics is a major provider of online data services to advertising agencies, networks and exchanges.

Related articles:

WPP acquires digital agency Salmon

wppWPP has acquired Okam Limited, the holding company of the Salmon Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Salmon provides digital consulting, design, delivery and support services to retail, wholesale and manufacturing brands including Akzo Nobel, Argos, Game, Halfords, Kiddicare, Morrisons, Selfridges and Premier Farnell.

Salmon’s consolidated unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 October 2012 were £34.3 million, with gross assets as at the same date Salmonof £11.3 million.

With a worldwide workforce of 420 people, Salmon was founded in 1989 and operates from offices in the UK, in China and in Australia.  Salmon will continue to operate as an independent and stand-alone brand within WPP and be led by CEO Neil Stewart.

Commenting on the arrival of Salmon, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said “The application of technology to marketing continues to accelerate, not least in the retail market and success requires close collaboration between our clients’ marketing and sales organisations and their IT organisation. Close collaboration between Salmon and WPP’s other agencies will allow WPP to bring clients a tightly-integrated solution across both marketing and technology and help both the CMO and CIO deliver customer-centric multi-channel solutions – yet another example of where CMO and CIO have to work together.”

UK, London

Related articles:

WPP acquires stake in Globant

wpp-globantWPP is to acquire a 20% stake in Globant S.A. Globant provides both technical expertise and design and creative capabilities in the development of software products that can be applied to digital marketing campaigns on a global scale.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Globant is a rapidly growing business employing 2,700 engineers, marketing specialists and designers in 21 offices across 14 cities in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, the United States and the United Kingdom. The company’s approach is unique in that it provides clients with both the infrastructure and technical support that drive digital marketing campaigns, combined with the creative and design skills usually found alone in digital agencies.

Globant’s net revenues for the year ended 31 December 2011 were US$90 million and net revenues for the six months to 30 June 2012 were US$56.9 million with total assets of US$69 million as of 30 June 2012. WPP will invest approximately $70 million in acquiring the Globant stake.

“Increasingly, clients want better coordination between their IT departments and their marketing departments, between their Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and their Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs),” said WPP Chief Executive Sir Martin Sorrell. “There are many consulting companies or digital agencies that are expert in one function or the other. Few, if any, do both and even fewer can integrate deep technical and creative capabilities on a global scale as Globant does. Partnering with Globant will allow our companies to increasingly provide our clients with insights and skills that will make their digital marketing efforts even more effective and simpler to manage at both the front and back ends.”

Globant has deep experience in working in state of the art digital marketing spaces including, but not limited to, mobile, gamification, social networks, cloud computing, big data and e-commerce. Globant’s clients include American Express, JP Morgan Chase & Co., LinkedIn, Electronic Arts, Google, Coca-Cola, National Geographic, Zynga and Sabre Holdings, as well as a number of WPP companies, such as JWT, Young & Rubicam, Grey, GroupM and Kantar.

UK, London & Argentina, Buenos Aires

Related articles:

WPP to acquire AKQA

WPP is to acquire the assets of digital agency AKQA Holdings, Inc.

Founded in 2001, AKQA provides integrated digital communications campaigns, spanning social media, mobile, interactive experiences, gaming and content creation.  Clients include Delta, Diageo, EDF, GAP, Google, Microsoft Xbox, Nike, Target, Unilever and Virgin Money, among many others.

International recognition for its creative excellence has earned the agency numerous industry awards, including 19 Agency of the Year titles.  Last year, AKQA won Digital Agency of the Year honours in both the US (Adweek) and the UK (Campaign) and collected five Cannes Lions.

Currently employing 1160 people worldwide – from software engineers and technologists to creatives and strategists – the agency operates through offices in the US (San Francisco, New York, Washington DC), Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin) and Asia (Shanghai). The agency had gross assets of $282 million as at 31 December 2011 and forecasts revenues of around $230 million in 2012, having achieved $189 million in 2011.

AKQA will continue to operate as an independent and stand-alone brand within WPP and be led by founder and CEO Ajaz Ahmed and Chairman Tom Bedecarré.  Tom Bedecarré will also become President of WPP Ventures, a new Silicon Valley-based company, which will explore new digital investment opportunities for WPP as a whole.

Commenting on the arrival of AKQA, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP said:  “We are thrilled to welcome AKQA’s unique team of technological innovators and entrepreneurs to WPP.  We have admired their creativity and technological skills for a long time along with their outstandingly effective and award-winning work for clients. We are looking forward to working with Ajaz and Tom to broaden their offer and our own, both geographically and functionally.  We are delighted to be united!”

UK, London & USA, San Francisco, CA

Related articles: