GROUPM TO ACQUIRE MAJORITY STAKE IN VOCANIC SINGAPORE
Move Accelerates Company’s Social Media Capabilities
Mark Patterson GroupM CEO, Asia Pacific and Chairman, China
Ian McKee, Founder and CEO of Vocanic
SINGAPORE—GroupM, the world’s leading global media investment management operation, announced today that it has agreed to acquire a majority interest in Vocanic, Asia’s leading social media marketing business.
The announcement was made jointly by Mark Patterson GroupM CEO, Asia Pacific and Chairman, China, and Ian McKee, CEO of Vocanic.
Established in 2005 and based in Singapore with offices in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, Vocanic is a full service social media marketing firm. Its 130 employees provide social media strategy consulting, social technology, social media program and campaign management, community management and social media analytics.
“Social Media is a rapidly developing sector of our business across Asia Pacific,” Patterson said in making the announcement. “This investment significantly accelerates the capabilities of our agencies to meet and anticipate client needs. Vocanic’s track record of growth, resources and commitment to technology are unique in this sector of the business.”
Vocanic’s client list includes a wide range of blue chip business partners including StarHub, Axis, SMRT, EDB, SAP, Astro, Unilever, Dell, Symantec, Mead Johnson, Danone, WingTai Retail, MHD, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others.
“Social Media is now a strategic success factor for brands who are devoting an increasing share of their marketing budget to this channel,” said Vocanic’s McKee. “As part of GroupM, we will be able to integrate social media and traditional media planning to deliver large scale social media programs that integrate with a brand’s overall strategy and deliver significant results.”
Following the acquisition, Vocanic will remain a discrete brand which now becomes part of the GroupM family of agencies, and McKee will continue in his role as CEO of the company.
The investment continues GroupM’s strategy of developing its services in important sectors and its commitment to strengthening its capabilities in social media. According to RECMA, GroupM is the largest media investment management company in Singapore with reported billings of $620m and more than 700 employees.
Vocanic was advised in this transaction by Results International, the leading global corporate advisor to the marketing communications, media and technology sectors.
Andrew Kefford, Results International Managing Partner Asia Pacific & MENA said “Given Vocanic’s position as the leading social media marketing agency in South East Asia, there was strong interest from a significant number of potential acquirers. GroupM was the chosen partner due to its aligned interest in developing social media marketing across this fast developing region and its multiple, deep client relationships”.