WPP to acquire digital agency AKQA

Advertising giant WPP has agreed to buy digital agency AKQA for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2001, AKQA employs 1160 staff across offices in the US (San Francisco, New York, Washington DC), Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin) and Asia (Shanghai).

The agency had gross assets of $282 million as at 31 December 2011 and forecasts revenues of around $230 million in 2012, having achieved $189 million in 2011.

Its clients include Delta, Diageo, EDF, GAP, Google, Microsoft Xbox, Nike, Target, Unilever and Virgin Money.

The Drum reported last month that WPP was in talks to acquire a digital agency.

AKQA will continue to operate as an independent and stand-alone brand within WPP and be led by founder and CEO Ajaz Ahmed and chairman Tom Bedecarré.

Bedecarré will also become president of WPP Ventures, a new Silicon-Valley based digital investment company.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said: "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."

Bedecarré added: “We are delighted to preserve AKQA’s independent culture and maintain focus on serving our clients. Today we are celebrating joining WPP and tomorrow our teams will be back to business as usual.”

The deal will be concluded subject to regulatory approval.

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Staff Writer

The Drum is a global media platform and the biggest marketing website in Europe. We produce The Drum magazine, 30 awards and events and manage The Drum Network which aims to make independently minded agencies more successful. We also help brands find the right agencies to work with through the Recommended Agency Register (RAR).

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