WPP has acquired full ownership of Y&R and Wunderman joint venture agencies across Southeast Asia and Taiwan, and Dentsu Sudler & Hennessey in Japan. This was following a share swap transaction with Dentsu Inc. The joint venture was first established in 1981.
The transaction includes Y&R in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; Wunderman in Taiwan and Thailand. It also includes Dentsu Sudler & Hennessey in Japan, which will be rebranded as Sudler. According to a statement, WPP companies across Asia Pacific have collectively generate revenues of almost US$4.8 billion including associates. The network also employs more than 53,000 people.
“Southeast Asia is home to many of the world’s most dynamic economies. This transaction marks WPP’s continued commitment to expanding in key growth markets and supporting clients through a strong pan-Asian network offering,” the WPP statement read.
Most recently, in its first quarter 2018 trading update, WPP said the Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa & the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs was up 2.3%, with strong growth in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Central & Eastern Europe. In Asia Pacific, Greater China, India, Japan, Thailand and Korea, representing five of the Group’s top six markets in Asia, showed strong growth, with Singapore more challenging. In the first quarter of 2018, the group’s like-for-like revenue pass-through costs was down marginally at 0.1%, with the United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and Latin America up strongly, offset by declines in North America and Western Continental Europe.
In a press statement, Mark Read and Andrew Scott, joint chief operating officers, WPP said: “In the last two weeks we have focused on spending time with our clients and people, and the response has been very encouraging. As expected, our people are getting on with business as usual, and our clients have expressed their continued support for and confidence in WPP.”
The statement added that “WPP has unrivalled assets and capabilities” with “the world’s most-awarded creative agencies, the number one media buying and planning business; many of the world’s leading research, data and insight companies”.
“We intend to build on these strengths by taking a fresh look at our strategy, developing a vision for the Group that recognises the challenges and opportunities presented by the structural shifts in our industry, and executing resolutely against it. Our priority is to focus on growth. We will proactively address the under-performing parts of our business and we need to ensure that our capital is deployed to those areas that will grow fastest and maximise shareholder value,” the statement said.