In its recent figures WPP reported that digital, in one guise or another, now accounts for nearly 30 per cent of its business.
So now it seems on the brink of taking a significant stake in Japanese digital agency DAC.
The deal is supposed to be worth about $43m so a mere bagatelle as far as WPP is concerned. CEO Sir Martin Sorrell recently announced that he was increasing this year’s acquisition budget to about £400m.
Anyway, here’s what WPP says:
WPP notes the press release issued by Asatsu-DK Inc (ADK), on 26 August 2011, in which ADK confirmed it’s intention to offer for sale its entire holding of shares in D.A. Consortium Inc. (DAC).
WPP confirms that it has made a non-binding offer to ADK to acquire all of ADK’s shares in DAC at a price of 36,550 Yen per share.
WPP hopes to work closely with the board of directors of ADK to agree final terms for the acquisition of those shares. Under the terms of it’s offer, WPP proposes to execute a legally binding Definitive Agreement by Friday 2nd September 2011.
IMPORTANT: The WPP’s offer is subject to contract and confirmatory due diligence and this press release is not an offer to acquire shares in DAC nor an invitation to tender shares in DAC.
Quite how significant this deal is is anyone’s guess; is it Sorrell aiming for a much bigger foothold in Japan or just emerging, as he does quite often, as a snapper up of unconsidered trifles?
Anyway his strategy is clear; he wants to be the biggest in digital and the biggest in research.
One suspects that Sir Martin doesn’t see his rivals as Omnicom or Publicis Groupe these days, more Google or maybe even Apple.
Will WPP one day spin off its agency business from digital and data? Don’t bet against it.