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WPP acquires eCommerce digital agency Salmon

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MUMBAI: Global media communications company WPP has acquired 100 per cent of Okam Limited, the holding company of the UK-based digital agency Salmon Group.

Salmon has expertise in technical and business areas and provides digital consulting, design, delivery and support services to leading retail, wholesale and manufacturing brands including Akzo Nobel, Argos, Game, Halfords, Kiddicare, Morrisons, Selfridges and Premier Farnell.

The acquisition reflects the increasing importance of eCommerce to retailers, manufacturers and brand owners in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets. eCommerce sales in the UK are growing at 10 per cent per annum and account for all the growth in retail sales. Salmon will be in a position to partner with the rest of WPP to broaden its offer and develop its business internationally.

Salmon has a worldwide workforce of 420 people with offices in the UK, in China and in Australia. Salmon will continue to operate as an independent and stand-alone brand within WPP and be led by CEO Neil Stewart.

Stewart said, "With increased client exposure and access to new geographies, our partnership with WPP will help fuel the next stage of our evolution into a global full-service digital delivery agency. We are delighted to be able to do this whilst preserving Salmon‘s independent culture and maintaining our focus on serving our clients."

WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said "The application of technology to marketing continues to accelerate, not least in the retail market and success requires close collaboration between our clients‘ marketing and sales organisations and their IT organisation. Close collaboration between Salmon and WPP‘s other agencies will allow WPP to bring clients a tightly-integrated solution across both marketing and technology and help both the CMO and CIO deliver customer-centric multi-channel solutions - yet another example of where CMO and CIO have to work together."

Salmon‘s consolidated unaudited revenues for the year ended 31 October 2012 were ?34.3 million, with gross assets of ?11.3 million.

WPP‘s digital revenues (including associates) are budgeted to exceed $6 billion in 2013, over 33 per cent of the group‘s total revenues, which in 2011 totalled $16 billion. WPP has set a target of 35-40 per cent of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years.

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