Ketchum comes to SG, acquires local PR shop

Omnicom Group’s Ketchum has made a 100% acquisition of Icon International Communications. The deal is complete and latter has become Ketchum Icon.

The acquisition involves Icon’s local operations only, and does not include Icon’s Australian and Indonesian operations, which are owned and led by Phil Burfurd and Chris Gray. These offices will continue to operate as part of Ketchum’s affiliate network, however.

Icon International Singapore is headed by John Bailey (pictured), who was the company’s sole shareholder. Bailey will continue to lead the operations, and there will be no changes in Icon’s management, Bailey told Marketing.

He will report directly to Jon Higgins, senior partner and CEO international, Ketchum. Both declined to comment on the cost of the acquisition.

Both said that Icon and Ketchum have already been working together on several clients in Asia Pacific.

Started in 2005, Icon International currently has staff strength of 27. Bailey also declined to talk about Icon’s clients.

One of the largest agencies in Europe, Ketchum has been slowly building its presence in Asia-Pacific in the recent years. “Asia Pacific is one of the smallest regions for us, but it is also the fastest growing,” said Higgins.

In 2011, the firm acquired a majority position in its Ketchum Newscan partnership in China, as well as in Sampark PR in India. In September this year, Ketchum merged with South Korea-based InComm Brodeur as well, and struck up an exclusive affiliation with Hakuhodo in Tokyo.

Higgins also said that Ketchum is looking to keep expanding in the region, but declined to comment on any particular market.