WPP Buys Turkish Digital Agency, H&K Ups PBN Stake
WPP continues to purchase agencies in a buying spree that totals nearly a dozen acquisitions in the last two months. The holding company confirmed two more purchases in the last two days.
The latest buy: a majority stake in 41?29! Media Internet, an independent digital agency based in Istanbul, Turkey.
The 5-year-old agency offers digital communications services to clients across all business sectors with a client roster that includes Diageo, Garanti Bank, Kraft, Microsoft, Nokia, Renault, Ulker and Unilever.
WPP is building a portfolio of agencies in Turkey, considered one of the most buoyant economies in the Eurasian region. The holding company now employs nearly 1,000 people in the country and generates annual revenues there of $100 million.
Word of the Turkish acquisition followed by one day news that the company’s PR subsidiary Hill + Knowlton Strategies had acquired an additional 25% of The PBN Company, a PR shop with offices in Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet Republics. The purchase gives it majority control of the firm.
PBN, which will be rebranded PBN Hill + Knowlton Strategies, provides an array of PR, corporate and crisis communications, government relations, financial communications and marketing communications to both Western and local companies. Clients include Abbott, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BP, John Deere, Kingfisher, NYSE Euronext, Rosneft and Unilever.
While several firms, including Interpublic, Publicis and MDC Partners have contributed to a broad-based holding company buying binge this month, WPP has been the most acquisitive, with a total of six purchases so far in January.
Most of those acquisitions have been in the digital space where WPP wants to grow its asset base so that it accounts for up to 40% of revenues by 2017. Currently, the holding company’s digital revenues total over $4.5 billion or nearly 30% of total revenue.