WPP announces third Asian acquisition in a week as it buys Indian social media agency

WPP has announced its third acquisition in India in a week, with its ad agency JWT taking ownership of Indian social media agency Social Wavelength.

Social Wavelength was founded five years ago, has offices in Delhi and Chennai and 170 staff. Its clients include Franklin Templeton, Apollo Hospitals, Idea Cellular and GE India Industrial.

The acquisition comes shortly after WPP announced buying two companies in China – marketing agency XMKT and e-gifting company Egift, which will also fall under the JWT umbrella.

The announcement from WPP:

WPP announces that its wholly-owned operating company, JWT, the global marketing communications agency, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Social Wavelength, one of the leading social media agencies in India.

Founded in 2009, Social Wavelength is headquartered in Mumbai, with offices in Delhi and Chennai. The company employs over 170 people and key clients include Franklin Templeton, Apollo Hospitals, Idea Cellular and GE India Industrial.

Social Wavelength’s revenues for the year ended 31 March 2013 were INR 91.5 million, with gross assets at the same date of INR59.2 million.

This acquisition marks a further step in WPP’s strategy of developing its networks in fast-growth markets and sectors. In India, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of nearly US$500 million and employ almost 13,000 people. Like-for-like revenue growth in India was 4.6% in 2013 (excluding associates). In the Asia Pacific region, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of US$5 billion and employ more than 48,000 people. 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.

Social Wavelength marks WPP’s fifth acquisition in India in the last four years.


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