Wunderman-Controlled Shop Buys Ecommerce Firm Applogix

WPP’s Wunderman has acquired marketing and ecommerce technology company Applogix, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Terms were undisclosed, but the deal was made via Aqua — which WPP claims is the largest digital agency in the country and which is controlled by Wunderman.

The purchase is one of several recent holding company M&A deals for agencies in South Africa, one of the faster-growing advertising markets, according to industry surveys.

Last month Dentsu acquired a majority interest (60%) in experiential marketing shop Crimson Room Communications, also based in Johannesburg. And in July WPP's subsidiary Scangroup Limited agreed to acquire a majority stake in EXP, a pan-African experiential marketing group with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.  

Ad spending in the South Africa market is projected to grow nearly 20% this year. According to media agency tracker RECMA, South Africa had approximately $3.2 billion in billings in 2013.

Founded in 2005 and employing around 20 people, Applogix services include Web and mobile application development and ecommerce and user experience design.  Clients include MTN, Standard Bank and Shell. 

WPP said the deal strengthens Aqua's offering in the mobile and ecommerce space while providing Applogix with access to Aqua’s client base including Multichoice, Ford, MTN, Coca-Cola and Standard Bank. 

In South Africa, WPP generates revenues of around $500 million and employs around 26,000 people. Across the continent of Africa, the holding company has annual revenues of $700 million and employs over 27,000 people. Applogix revenues for the year ended February 2014 were about $1 million, per WPP.
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