WPP's Possible Buys Big Stake In Russia's Grape Agency

WPP’s Possible Worldwide has bought a majority stake in Grape, a Russian digital agency.

Like most holding companies, WPP is bulking up on its resources in faster-growing markets like Russia, with predictions of 13% to 14% annual spending growth there through 2014.

Grape, based in Moscow, was formed 10 years ago and focuses on Web site and social media strategies, per WPP. The agency employs 124 people and clients include SABMiller and Henkel. The shop’s 2011 revenue totaled nearly $14 million.

WPP employs around 1,900 people in Russia and currently generates revenues of over $200 million annually from the market. Across the Central and Eastern European markets collectively, WPP said it employs almost 6,000 people with revenues of about $600 million.

The holding company has been gobbling up firms in the region this year. In January, it purchased a controlling stake in Russian PR firm The PBN Company, through its Hill + Knowlton subsidiary.

In the broader region, Possible also recently acquired Hungarian digital firm Carnation. Based in Budapest, Carnation also has offices located in Serbia, Austria and Romania.

Separately, a few months back WPP bought a majority stake in digital shop 41?29! Media Internet, a Turkish digital agency based in Istanbul.

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