SH advises on two media company M&As

30 Janauary 2012

International law firm Stephenson Harwood's Singapore office has recently advised on two media company acquisitions.

Matthew Gorman, head of Stephenson Harwood's Singapore office, and corporate associate Joel Shen have advised on the following deals which closed in December, with completion expected to take place over the next few months:

The acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in XPR Pte Ltd by Cohn & Wolfe: XPR is one of Singapore's largest independent communications agencies. It was recently named Agency of the Year for 2011 by Singapore’s Marketing Magazine and boasts a regional presence with offices in Malaysia and Indonesia. The deal is the second for Cohn & Wolfe in Asia Pacific in December, and establishes the WPP agency's presence in Southeast Asia. XPR is expected to bring significant social media and digital expertise, as well as leading regional and international clients such as Groupon, SingTel, BMW Asia, and Motorola Mobility to Cohn & Wolfe's existing portfolio.

The acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in Qais Consulting Pte Ltd by VML: Qais is an award-winning, full-service digital agency with offices in Singapore and Mumbai. Under the terms of the acquisition, Qais will continue operations under the name "VML Qais", and will form the Asian arm of one of the world's leading pure-play digital networks. Qais has particular expertise in Singapore and India, and its clients include Standard Chartered Bank, Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Hilton Hotels, Mahindra & Mahindra, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors and the Singapore Ministry of Defence.

These acquisitions are the latest in a wave of digital agency acquisitions in Southeast Asia attributable to the increasing affluence of consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore as well as the rise of digital marketing.

Stephenson Harwood has a broad range of experience in advising media companies, including financing, insurance, M&A, agreements and joint ventures and property related matters. Stephenson Harwood have acted on matters for Arts Alliance Media Limited, LOVEFiLM International, Chase Manhattan and BSkyB among others.