WPP has announced that its agency brand JWT will acquire majority stake in Indian social media agency Social Wavelength. The holding company made the announcement to the London Stock Exchange on 27 March 2014.
Founded in 2009, Social Wavelength is headquartered in Mumbai, and has offices in Delhi and Chennai. It employs over 170 people and key clients include Franklin Templeton, Apollo Hospitals, Idea Cellular and GE India Industrial. Its offerings include social media marketing, online reputation management, social CRM and social media for HR.
"JWT’s acquisition of Social Wavelength is a logical confluence of social media and mainline expertise, coming together to create integrated communication for brands. The rich experience of five years that we have, in this young industry of social and digital media, will find the next leap of growth, through this partnership. A socially connected world is going to create new challenges and opportunities for brands, and we will create solutions to help brands navigate those challenges,” said Hareesh Tibrewala and Sanjay Mehta, joint CEOs, Social Wavelength.
Social Wavelength’s revenues for the year ended March 2013 was Rs 9.15 crore, with gross assets of Rs 5.92 crore, informed a WPP statement.
This marks WPP’s fifth acquisition in India in the last four years. "This acquisition marks a further step in WPP's strategy of developing its networks in fast-growth markets and sectors. In India, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of nearly US$ 500 million and employ almost 13,000 people," the WPP statement added.
“We want to be a critical resource partner across the many solutions we provide to our clients. As we continue to relentlessly transform our offerings, Social Wavelength adds a huge dimension to our existing clients and the brands we steward. Across the marcom value chain and across various digital touch points the skills and capabilities of Social Wavelength will be that edge,” said Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT South Asia.
In June 2012, WPP announced the acquisition of Hungama Digital Services, which is now part of JWT: JWT to buy majority stake in Hungama Digital Services.
JWT also acquired Post Visual in South Korea (2013), and took a stake in Converge in Pakistan (2012). XM Asia, a digital agency owned by JWT, acquired Designercity in Hong Kong and Thomas Idea in Thailand (2013), besides XM Gravity (2012).
(Updated ar 1640 hrs on 27 March with inputs from JWT South Asia.)