Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP has made yet another acquisition: the media giant has agreed to buy the assets of AKQA Holdings, 'the world's leading independent and most awarded digital agency'.
AKQA, which employs some 1,160 people around the world, provides digital communications campaigns spanning social media, mobile, interactive experiences, gaming and content creation. Its clients include Google, Microsoft Xbox and Nike. WPP highlighted AKQA's international presence and recognition for its work which has earned it several industry awards including 19 'Agency of the Year' titles.
"Founded in 2001, AKQA fast established a reputation as the one to watch, the pace setter, with its innovative, entrepreneurial spirit, outstanding creativity and its ideas-led approach," WPP said.
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AKQA will continue to operate as an independent stand-alone brand within WPP, led by its founder and Chief Executive Officer Ajez Ahmed and Chairman Tom Bedecarr. The latter is to become President of WPP Ventures, a new Silicon Valley-based company which will explore new digital investment opportunities for WPP.
Speaking about the acquisition, Sorrell 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!"
ACQA expects to generate $230m in revenues in 2012, up from $189m in 2011. Gross assets at December 31st were valued at $282m.
WPP's shares were trading 1.17% higher at 776p by 15:23.
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