Cohn Wolfe expands in Southeast Asia with XPR acquisition

New York : Cohn & Wolfe ( announced today it has signed an agreement to acquire XPR, one of Singapore’s largest independent communications agencies, with additional offices in Malaysia and Indonesia. The deal, the second for Cohn & Wolfe in Asia Pacific in the past month, establishes the agency’s presence in Southeast Asia and adds significant social media and digital expertise, as well as leading regional and international clients to its existing portfolio.

As one of Southeast Asia’s leading digital-centric PR agencies, XPR counts among its clients some of the biggest names in banking, sports, technology and lifestyle, including Groupon, SingTel, BMW Asia, and Motorola Mobility. XPR is ranked annually as one of the top 10 PR agencies in Singapore and was most recently named 2011 Agency of the Year by Marketing Magazine. Seventy-five percent of XPR’s accounts integrate digital and social media elements, with social media retainers accounting for over a third of group revenues in 2011.

The agency, Cohn & Wolfe XPR, will have 28 professionals working on interactive marketing – including digital, social and mobile media – and traditional communications for regional and international brands. Cohn & Wolfe XPR will have a strong leadership team with local and global expertise across technology, sports, digital, financial and lifestyle brands. The new agency will provide XPR’s current clients access to an award-winning international network, while deepening Cohn & Wolfe’s digital offering and establishing a presence in Singapore and Malaysia, in addition to its existing Indonesia offering.

The deal is part of Cohn & Wolfe’s strategic priority to expand its footprint in the Asia Pacific region. It closely follows the agency’s November 2011 acquisition of impactasia in Greater China.

“Since our very first meeting, XPR has impressed me with their strong leadership and quality of work. It’s clear they are driven to capitalize on the vast opportunities in Asia and our clients will benefit from this infusion of talent and digital expertise,” said Donna Imperato, CEO of Cohn & Wolfe.

Leading the new agency are Karen Ho, Gavin Foo and Adrian Lee, who will be Group Managing Directors, reporting to Imperato. In a joint statement by Ho, Foo and Lee, “Cohn & Wolfe shares the same streak of independence, energy and innovation as we do, making the agency a compelling partner in the next stage of our growth.”

Gavin Foo commented, “XPR’s cutting-edge strategy of integrating best-in-breed social technologies with traditional PR has made us the leading choice for clients in the region.”

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