HONG KONG—Next Fifteen subsidiary Bite Communications has completed the acquisition of a majority share of the Upstream Asia network of Asia-Pacific public relations operation, originally reported in this newsletter last month..
Upstream’s offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney will begin to rebrand as Bite from November. Upstream’s management team will remain in place, with founder and chief executive David Ketchum joining the Bite Communications group board as president of Asia-Pacific and executive vice president Paul Mottram running operations in the region. Bite’s former Beijing team is being integrated into Upstream’s Beijing office to form a single expanded operation.
The Upstream Asia offices will join Bite’s current network, which includes offices in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Stockholm and Toronto.
“Geographically, professionally, and culturally, we knew Upstream would be a great fit with Bite from the beginning of our discussions,” says Clive Armitage, CEO of Bite. “Our clients have strong needs in this growing region of the world, and our new presence in Asia Pacific will complement our already strong coverage in the United States and Europe, making Bite a truly global player.”
Upstream also brings several high-profile clients, from Skype and HTC in consumer technology, to Qantas and Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts in travel, and SWIFT in the financial industry. Bite will also benefit from Upstream’s exceptional digital marketing and social media capabilities.
“Joining a worldwide network is a natural next step in our team’s development, and by being part of Bite we can enhance our capability for clients and our growth,” says Ketchum. “We share similar perspectives on the way forward in the changing media and communications landscape, and we both see opportunities to deliver a fresh, new approach to the market.”