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SI Partners advises independent public relations agency Impact Asia on acquisition by Cohn & Wolfe




Sell Side


November 2011


Cohn & Wolfe announced today it has signed an agreement to acquire, subject to regulatory approval, Impactasia, an independent public relations agency with an established network of offices throughout Greater China.  The deal will triple Cohn & Wolfe’s size in the region, where the company will immediately merge its own Beijing and Shanghai offices with impactasia to become one of Greater China’s prominent agencies.

The merged agency, Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia, will have more than 80 professionals and will work with domestic, regional and international brands across a wide range of industries, including travel & tourism, art & design, luxury goods, healthcare, technology, FMCG and more.  The new company will provide impactasia’s current clients access to an award-winning international network, while giving Cohn & Wolfe a Hong Kong presence. In mainland China, it will add depth and on-the-ground capabilities in this increasingly important market.

Expanding in Asia is a top priority for Cohn & Wolfe; the deal with impactasia is a key strategic step in building its presence and offering in Greater China and throughout the region.

"This acquisition will position Cohn & Wolfe very well to meet increasing client demand for support in Greater China and to capitalize on opportunities across the region. Impactasia’s talented and experienced team brings tremendous expertise and a deep understanding of the global challenges facing our clients today".
Donna Imperato, Chief Executive Officer, Cohn & Wolfe

Leading the newly formed agency are Susan Field and Sarah Woodhouse, who are based in Hong Kong and who will retain their positions as CEO and Group MD, respectively, of Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia, reporting to Imperato, who is based in New York.  Lydia Shen, currently Managing Director of Cohn & Wolfe China, and Fiona Ng, currently Managing Director of impactasia, become Managing Directors of Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia, sharing responsibility for mainland China. The two will report to Sarah Woodhouse.

"Cohn & Wolfe embodies the same core values as impactasia, with its nimble, energetic, no-nonsense attitude.  Being part of the global Cohn & Wolfe network will enhance our client partnerships and help employees grow their careers in an international environment."
Sarah Woodhouse, Group Managing Director, Impactasia

In 2011, impactasia was named a finalist for Agency of the Year by both Marketing Magazine and Campaign Asia.  The company’s clients include top brands such as Rolls Royce,, Guinness, Pernod Ricard, MGM Hospitality, Robert Half International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Sofitel Luxury Hotels.  The agency recently championed the inaugural Social Media Week in Hong Kong, partnering with the city to produce 30+ events with over 2,300 participants in 5 days.

About Cohn & Wolfe
Cohn & Wolfe, a global communications agency, builds brands and corporate reputations through an uncompromising commitment to creativity.  The agency’s strategic approach unearths fresh, relevant insights leading to communications solutions that deliver measurable business success.  Over its 40-year history, Cohn & Wolfe’s award-winning brand marketing work and world-class digital media campaigns have attracted top brands around the world. In 2011, Advertising Age recognized Cohn & Wolfe’s independent-minded, entrepreneurial culture, naming it one of the “Best Places to Work in Marketing & Media.”  The agency has more than 1,000 employees in over 50 offices across North America, EMEA, and Asia. Cohn & Wolfe is part of WPP (Nasdaq: WPPGY), the world’s largest communications services group.

About impactasia
Impactasia is a dynamic communications agency focused on public relations. With expertise in consumer, trade, digital and corporate PR, it operates in a number of sectors including, but not limited to, travel & tourism, art & design, luxury goods, property, professional services and FMCG.  Impactasia is one of only a handful of networks that were started in, and remain focused on, Asia. Its network includes offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Impact’s core strength is regional know-how coupled with local expertise in the markets in which it operates.

SOURCE Cohn & Wolfe

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Cohn & Wolfe embodies the same core values as impactasia, with its nimble, energetic, no-nonsense attitude. Being part of the global Cohn & Wolfe network will enhance our client partnerships and help employees grow their careers in an international environment.

Sarah Woodhouse, Group Managing Director, Impactasia