WPP acquires digital shop AKQA
20 June 2012
WPP has acquired digital agency AKQA to harness the success the award-winning firm has had in social media, mobile and gaming campaigns.
The San Francisco-based agency’s enterprise value was placed at $540m in a presentation posted by WPP, although the exact purchase price of the acquisition has not been disclosed.
AKQA forecast revenues of $230m for this year, according to WPP. The holding company has tried acquire the agency twice in the past, according to chief executive Martin Sorrell.
“We have admired their creativity and technological skills for a long time along with their outstandingly effective and award-winning work for clients,” says Sorrell.
AKQA currently employs 1,160 staff in offices across the US, Europe and Shanghai. Its client base includes Gap, Google, Microsoft, Unilever and Nike.
The group will be run as an independent stand-alone brand within WPP and will continue to be led by founder and chief executive Ajaz Ahmed and chairman Tom Bedecarre. Bedecarre will also become president of WPP Ventures, focusing on identifying digital investment opportunities.
“With increased resources and access to new geographies, our partnership with WPP will fuel the next level of energy, excitement and opportunity, delivering innovation and creativity at scale,” says Ahmed.
David Hing, London