This week saw news break that worldwide marketing services group WPP had acquired shareholding of independent digital agency AKQA in what reports suggest was a deal worth around £348m.
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP spoke to The Drum about the acquisition.
What does the AKQA deal mean for WPP?
It adds a very strong brand in the digital space. It adds a highly creative operation and a technologically very sophisticated operation and an operation that wants to be a global brand. It's currently a western Europe and US brand. They want to be more of a BRIC brand, they want to be a next 11-brand, they want to be more global an they will apply technology not just to their own business but across our business. It's not about cost synergies, it's not about cost savings. It adds another arrow to our quiver and more accurately it adds a bazooka to our quiver and in a sense it's more than an arrow, it's a unique business that has been voted on 19 occasions as the top digital agency in differing countries. That's very exciting and it adds another very good set of digital resources and it takes us almost to a third of our business being digital and we're almost third in the fastest growth markets.
How long has this deal been ongoing?
We've been talking on and off for five or six years. But now we will see what we can do to take them to the next level.
Our strategy is emerging markets. We aim to capitalise on the assets in those geographies. How can we use the assets for AKQA and how can they use the assets of WPP? We aim to be working together where we can, working on common clients we share.
If you've been talking for five years why has it only happened now?
You would have to ask them that. Maybe they have got to a stage - they were in early stages of development in order to become a global brand. They've grown very well organically, with around 21.6% growth in average over the last five years and what they've done is they have established good relationships, they've built good relationships and they've added big accounts when the opportunities presented themselves.
Sorrell was attending this year's Cannes Festival of Creativity where WPP picked up the award for Holding Company of the Year for a second time running.