SI Partners Singapore — WE Communications has acquired China’s Red Bridge Communications. SI Partners advised the shareholders of Red Bridge Communications on the sale, identifying the buyer and negotiating the transaction.
The deal comes as WE reports a return to global revenue growth, posting a 3% increase in 2016 to $101.8m. The acquisition of Red Bridge adds 55 Shanghai employees to WE’s China presence, and will operate as WE Red Bridge.
Shanghai-based integrated agency, Red Bridge, which was named the Holmes Report’s Greater China Consultancy last year, will remain headed by Penny Burgess, who founded the firm in 2009. Burgess will report to WE Asia-Pacific EVP Matthew Lackie, while Red Bridge co-managing partner Nicky Wang will be responsible for driving the combined agency’s integrated marketing and digital capabilities across China.
“The merger into WE represents a huge opportunity for us to accelerate our expansion into new sectors and markets within the region,” said Burgess. “With the increased scale of the combined business, we can deepen our specialist capabilities, particularly in the areas of digital and analytics, and provide our team with greater development opportunities.”
We cannot thank you enough for your support on this journey. The SI team have been there every step of the way, and the advice you have given has been invaluable in getting us the right deal. SI has been an amazing and very patient partner – you have taught me a great deal through this process.
“In the case of Red Bridge, we are bringing on an integrated marketing firm in China to complement our strong technology and earned media capabilities,”said Alan VanderMolen, WE president of international, speaking to PR Week about the acquisition. “We want to expand into a full-service capability in China. We have a passion for Asia and believe a lot of our growth in the future is going to come from Asia”. WE Communications also announced the acquisition of Singapore-based corporate and financial affairs consultancy WATATAWA and will now number 110 employees across China. WE Communications CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin commented that the acquisitions “broaden our offering and create opportunities to expand client services”.
Alyssiah Tsui, who leads SI Partners APAC M&A business said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Penny and the team at Red Bridge to find the buyer that shares their ambitions and will give them the best platform for growth.”
Read the PR Week story here
Read the Holms Report coverage here