VML, part of WPP’s Y&R network, has struck a deal to acquire Shanghai-based social media shop Teein, the agencies confirmed Monday.
This is VML's second acquisition in China in the past year. Last October, the agency acquired digital shop IM2.0. VML has more than 400 employees in China.
Established in 2004, Teein employs approximately 170 people in Shanghai. The shop’s offering includes social listening, marketing and CRM services. Clients include Estee Lauder, Google, SAP, Danone.
Shanghai will become VML's second-largest operation next to Kansas City, where the agency is headquartered, once the Teein acquisition is completed. China will become its second-largest market in terms of staff behind the U.S. Plans call for the agency be re-branded VML in early 2015.
Agency revenues in 2013 totaled approximately $7 million, based on the current exchange rate. Teein will continue to be led by its CEO and founder Roy Yan.
Jon Cook, global CEO of VML, said the deal expands “the VML social media offering to ensure global clients are best served. It further diversifies our global presence while building VML’s expertise of local and regional markets."
For VML it’s the latest step in a series of expansion moves over the past two years. Shortly after its purchase of IM2.0, it acquired digital agency Biggs|Gilmore with offices in Chicago and Kalamazoo, MI. Earlier last year, it acquired stakes in agencies in South Africa and Poland and opened an office in Tokyo.