SG independent firm Wild gets acquired by Japanese network

Local creative ad agency Wild has been acquired by Japanese network Prap Japan Group. Wild, which was founded by managing director Yeo Ai Ling was established in 2009, and in 2011 saw Lee Kai Xin, interactive director, join as partner. Currently, the agency has a headcount of 40. It works with clients such as Subway, MSIG, Tesco, CPF and many others. 

Moving forward, Wild will become Prap Japan Group’s primary creative digital agency in Southeast Asia. With the acquisition, Prap Japan Group will become the major shareholder of Wild, while Yeo and Lee remain shareholders. While Prap holds the majority of Wild's shares, in a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Yeo said the network will give the founders and partners “autonomy to run the business status quo, so as to leverage the best in the field and tap into Wild's deep expertise as they support our growth.” 

While Yeo did not disclose the cost of the acquisition, she told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, the key consideration for the deal was “the like-mindedness in business ethos”. Another key consideration was in the alignment of ambitions and goals to scale Wild’s presence across Southeast Asia, supported by Prap's infrastructure. “We are excited to tap on Prap's network and capabilities to further strengthen our offering to clients, and fulfill our common vision of building a leading digital agency network in Southeast Asia,” Yeo said.

Lee also added that with Prap coming into the picture, the team at Wild is excited to drive its next phase of growth. Wild is also now looking to diversify its services and at the same time leverage shared tools to add more value to existing clients. Partnering Prap also allows Wild to offer more opportunities to the talents, Lee explained. “Our talent can now look forward to more exposure to a wider range of digital services and clients beyond Singapore, especially as we grow in Southeast Asia,” Lee added.

Isao Suzuki, representative director of Prap Japan Group said: "We are very pleased to welcome Wild to Prap Group. We are currently expanding our business in Southeast Asia and we believe that Wild can be an important part of this.”

Suzuki added that the agency’s skills and experience social media and digital marketing, in addition to creativity, impressed the group, and the values and culture the two entities held mirrored each other. “With Wild joining Prap Group, we are making a leap forward to our goal of becoming a global communications consulting company,” Suzuki added.

What’s next?

Tomoaki Shirai, director (head of the business administrative division), Prap Japan Group said that Wild’s capabilities in branding strategy and digital marketing, as well as its strong local implementation were attractive to the group. By leveraging these strengths and combining them to Prap’s overseas business operations, the group hopes to offer broader, more complete services to existing and future clients.

“This new partnership will allow both Wild and Prap to strengthen our business foundations and increase potential benefits,” Shirai added.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: Why did Wild choose Prap as an investor?

Yeo: For us, the like-mindedness in business ethos was key — and we were amazed at how aligned Wild and Prap are in so many ways.

Both companies share a passion to impact audience perception and behaviour through the work we do with great brands in ASEAN. We put our clients' needs at the centre of what we do, making sure every account's team is sufficiently resourced so we can live and breathe our client's brands. Our companies' track record of retaining long term relationships with clients is a testament to this. 

Collectively, we are aligned in our ambitions to scale our presence in Southeast Asia, with Wild leading the charge, supported by Prap's infrastructure. We are excited to tap on Prap's network and capabilities to further strengthen our offering to clients, and fulfill our common vision of building a leading digital agency network in Southeast Asia.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What kind of culture do we want to build? 

Yeo: We realised early on that Wild and Prap are an amazing fit in terms of culture. This was key to us, as one of our primary concerns going into this partnership was protecting the unique culture we've built at Wild. Both Wild and Prap share a culture of transparency and humility, choosing to let our work speak for itself. We value our people, our most important resource, and we're committed to growing and nurturing our staff. These are key aspects of our culture we want to preserve and continue building as we move forward together. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: How do you feel post the acquisition?

Yeo: When we started at a small rented shophouse space in Kreta Ayer as a team of two, we had the hunger and ambition to become an agency great brands would choose over the big boys. We literally knocked on doors, asking for the opportunity to showcase our capabilities. Those were hard-fought years. Fast forward to today, with a 40-strong team, we have moved mountains together and are proud of being known for intent designed creative solutions that help our clients build purposeful brands in the digital space. 

Now we are ready for the next chapter of Wild’s journey. We want to become a leading creative content agency in the region, and we see our partnership with Prap Japan Group as instrumental in our growth trajectory. The key reason we chose Prap as our partner is the full autonomy we will have to continue to manage the business, where our brand, culture and point-of-view remain unchanged. This strategic partnership will allow both companies to cohesively chart our course to become a successful digital agency network in the region."

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