UPDATE 1-WPP snaps up award-winning AKQA agency
LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Martin Sorrell's advertising giant WPP has agreed to buy the award-winning digital agency AKQA to tap into its success across social media, mobile and gaming and client base of GAP, Google and Nike.
AKQA, which is regularly named Agency of the Year at industry awards, employs 1,160 staff in offices across the United States, Europe and Shanghai. WPP put the enterprise value on a presentation on its website at $540 million.
The group, which has forecast revenues for 2012 of $230 million following $189 million in 2011, will still be run as an independent and stand-alone brand within WPP and be led by its founder and Chief Executive Ajaz Ahmed and Chairman Tom Bedecarre.
"We are thrilled to welcome AKQA`s unique team of technological innovators and entrepreneurs to WPP," Sorrell said.
"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.
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