Independent PR group impactasia has been acquired by US firm Cohn & Wolfe, part of the WPP family, and will be renamed Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia.
The acquisition, subject to regulatory approval, will see Cohn & Wolfe triple in size across Greater China, with impact’s Beijing and Shanghai operation “immediately” merged into Cohn & Wolfe’s own Beijing and Shanghai ops.
Impactasia’s Singapore operation, which ran under a partnership, is not part of the acquisition, leaving impactasia and its new owners to focus on the North Asia region.
The move also gives Cohn & Wolfe a foothold in the Hong Kong market.
Susan Field and Sarah Woodhouse, will continue to lead the merged operations as CEO and Group MD, respectively. Under the new structure, both will report to Donna Imperato, chief executive officer of Cohn & Wolfe.
Clients of impactasia include Rolls Royce, Guinness and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
With Cohn & Wolfe as a partner in China, it will add business from the healthcare and technology sector, including tech giant Dell.
Web firm ShareCast said impactasia’s unaudited revenues to the end 2010 were approximately HK$23.5 million, with gross assets at the same date of approximately HK$12.8 million.
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. Both will report to Sarah Woodhouse.
Woodhouse described Cohn & Wolfe as having 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,” she said via a statement.
The merged agency 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.
Cohn & Wolfe, part of the WPP network, has a 40-year history in the business with more than 1,000 employees in over 50 offices across North America, EMEA, and Asia.