International news: WPP to acquire Akqa
WPP has reached an agreement to acquire the assets of digital agency Akqa Holdings. Founded in 2001, the firm's services encompass digital communications campaigns such as social media activities, mobile communications, interactive experiences, video games and content creation. Its clients include Delta, Diageo, EDF, GAP, Google, Microsoft Xbox, Nike, Target, Unilever and Virgin Money. Akqa employs 1,160 people in its offices in San Francisco, New York, Washington, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Shanghai. The agency had gross assets of $282 million the end of 2011. Akqa will continue to operate as an independent and stand-alone brand within WPP, headed by founder and CEO Ajaz Ahmed and chairman Tom Bedecarré. Bedecarré will also become president of WPP Ventures, a new Silicon Valley-based company that will specialize in digital investments for WPP as a whole. "We are thrilled to welcome Akqa's unique team of technological innovators and entrepreneurs to WPP," said Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP. "We have admired their creativity and technological skills for a long time along with their outstandingly effective and award-winning work for clients. We are looking forward to working with Ajaz and Tom to broaden their offer and our own, both geographically and functionally." The deal remains subject to regulatory approval. No financial details are available.