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Korean digital marketing group plans to acquire 20 companies in APAC this year

YDMKorean agency group Yello Digital Marketing has announced plans to open an office in Singapore this year, and says it plans to acquire at least 20 marketing companies in APAC in the coming 12 months.

The group, which is made up of 19 different companies in Korea, has already signed alliance contracts with companies in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

Company CEO Sangsuk Lee said: “The online advertising market in Indonesia grew by 98 percent in 2014, and digital marketing still has huge growth potential across Asia Pacific in the coming years. To establish our position as the leading digital marketing group in Asia, we are hoping to bring the top marketing companies from the region on board our alliance.”

YDM says that while it has relied on acquisition to fuel expansion, “the reality for acquired companies is very different from the norm of M&A experienced elsewhere.”

“YDM acquires a minimum 51 per cent controlling stake in companies that join, but control over business strategy after acquisition is maintained to a large degree by the original founders, with YDM playing a supporting role as and when requested,” according to a corporate background briefing.

Acquired companies are not obliged to adopt the YDM brand or merge with other group companies.

Companies within YDM include strategy firms Mother Brain and Innobirds Media, creative shops E-Motion and DBROS Creative and targeting firm RecoBell.

The group has US$150 million in venture capital funding raised by subsidiary Yello Mobile. The Yello Mobile group achieved a US$1 billion valuation after closing its last round of funding.

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