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Hill + Knowlton Strategies swoops for digital agency Rice5

Rice 5WPP public relations firm Hill + Knowlton Strategies has acquired digital creative agency Rice5.

Rice5, which has 48 staff and offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, is the third Chinese company WPP has acquired in just over a week.

The announcement from WPP:

WPP announces that its wholly-owned operating company Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a leading international communications consultancy, has agreed to acquire Rice5, an award-winning full service digital creative agency. 

Founded in 2003 with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Rice5 is a market leader in innovative brand building, engaging audiences with creative design and technology, and social and digital media.

Rice5’s unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 December 2013 were HK$16.6 million, with gross assets at the same date of HK$6 million. Rice5 employs 48 people. Rice5’s client portfolio includes Givenchy, L’Oreal Group, LEE Jeans, Maxim’s Group, Rayban and The Hong Kong Tourism Board, among others.

This acquisition marks a further step towards WPP’s declared goal of developing its networks in fast-growth markets and sectors.

In Greater China, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of US$1.4 billion and employ over 14,000 people. Like-for-like revenue growth in Greater China was 4.0% in 2013 (excluding associates). In the Asia Pacific region, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of US$5 billion and employ over 48,000 people. Like-for-like revenue growth in Asia Pacific was 5.2% in 2013 (excluding associates).

WPP recently raised its targets from 35-40% for each of fast-growth markets and new media to at least 40-45% over the next five years.

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