Maja Pawinska Sims 18 Jun 2018 // 7:13AM GMT
LONDON — We Are Social has made its first acquisition, extending its reach into the MENA region for the first time by taking a majority stake in the Middle East’s largest social media agency Socialize.
The move, which is still subject to regulatory approval, brings We Are Social’s employee count to more than 700 in 11 offices across nine countries. According to the agency, it is the first step in a strategy to accelerate growth with acquisitions around the world.
Socialize is based in Dubai, and its team of more than 40 looks after clients including Sony, General Mills, GEMS Education, Mercedes-Benz, Bioderma and Singapore Tourism. The agency will continue to operate as an independent brand under the leadership of founder and managing director Akanksha Goel (pictured).
Socially-driven creative agency We Are Social was founded by Robin Grant and Nathan McDonald in 2008 and is 10 years old this year. It became part of BlueFocus Communication Group in 2014 and clients include adidas, Netflix, Samsung, Lavazza and Google.
Chairman and co-founder Grant described the Socialize team as “kindred spirits who share our creative culture and passion for social” and added: “As one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic regions in the world, the Middle East is absolutely crucial for our global clients and having Socialize as part of our network has fulfilled a long-held ambition."
Goel said: “We Are Social’s entrepreneurial spirit and future-focused offering makes it the perfect strategic fit for Socialize. We're looking forward to joining forces with a network that is so like us from both a cultural and working practice perspective, a forward-thinking partner who shares our vision of the future and a global ecosystem that allows us to deliver greater value to our clients.”