Saatchi Buys Arachnid, Ups Digital Reach

Dutch-LadyPublicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi has acquired Kuala Lumpur-based Arachnid, one of the first Malaysian digital agencies to set up shop in the region. Arachnid clients include Toyota, Lexus, Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas, dairy brand Dutch Lady, Mini and Reckitt Benckiser.

The purchase continues the latest spurt in digital agency consolidation. Just last month, Publicis struck a deal to buy Netherlands-based LBi, which had been in play for several months. Earlier, WPP bought AKQA.

Arachnid is being rebranded as Saatchi & Saatchi Arachnid, as the agency becomes aligned with the Saatchi & Saatchi network in Asia Pacific. The management team of Arachnid will continue to lead the business, per S&S.

“The marriage of Saatchi & Saatchi and Arachnid signifies a major scaling up of digital capabilities in the Saatchi & Saatchi network across the region,” stated Chris Foster, CEO S&S Asia Pacific. “The past 18 months have seen us make significant investments in digital capabilities, particularly in our regional management hub in Singapore, and now through the union with Arachnid."

Arachnid will continue to operate as a separate entity with the majority of its 60-plus staff of creative, technology, strategy, social media and account specialists based in Kuala Lumpur, per S&S. However, an unspecified number of Arachnid staffers will operate out of S&S' Singapore office.

Arachnid was found in 1996 by founder Chin Weng Keong, who said he’s been exploring the idea of linking to a broader agency network for some time in order to “grow beyond Malaysia, leveraging the regional and global experience we’ve developed over recent years.”

Tags: agency, digital, m&a
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