WPP Buys Into Chinese Ad Measurement Firm
WPP’s digital investment arm has acquired an interest in Chinese digital ad measurement company Moment Systems, founded in 2006 in Beijing and currently employing 90 people. Reports suggest the marcoms giant is also eyeing the possible sale of Photon companies in Australia.
WPP Digital invested in a series A preferred share round in Leading Smart Holdings Limited, a BVI company which holds a controlling stake in Moment Systems’ parent. Innovation finance firm Redpoint Ventures also took part in the round.
Moment is already well known to WPP via Millward Brown, which announced a licensing agreement with the Chinese firm last December, and said the two companies would work together to develop new digital research and planning solutions.
A month ago WPP Digital made a strategic investment of undisclosed size in TV ad analytics specialist Ace Metrix. WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell has recently underlined the group’s intent to continue investing in fast-growing markets and sectors and strengthening its capabilities in digital media. Greater China - where it employs almost 12,000 people across - remains one of its fastest growth markets.
Another possible target for WPP is emerging in Australia with reports last week that marcoms and research group Photon is struggling to raise the necessary finance it needs to recapitalise and cope with $AUD 176m worth of earn-out payments. A local WPP source told publication The Australian (www.theaustralian.com.au ): ‘Clearly we will be talking about it. Everyone will be doing due diligence on Photon’. Hamish McLennan, global boss of WPP’s Young & Rubicam group, is about to visit the country, and targets could include the likes of BMF, BWM, Naked and C4. Photon also owns MR agencies including Jigsaw and The leading Edge.
Web site: www.wpp.com .