London—Advertising holding company WPP has acquired a majority stake in independent digital ad agency AKQA Holdings, based in San Francisco. Financial terms were not disclosed, but The Guardian
and other sources valued the deal at about $540 million.
WPP acquired the 80% share of AKQA owned by equity investment company General Atlantic. The remainder is held by agency management. According to WPP, AKQA will continue to operate as a standalone brand.
AKQA provides integrated digital campaigns in social media, mobile, interactive experiences and gaming for such clients as Delta Air Lines, Microsoft Xbox, Nike Inc. and Unilever. In addition to its San Francisco headquarters, AKQA has offices in New York and Washington, D.C., as well as in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris and Shanghai.