XM Asia Pacific has agreed to acquire digital creative agency Sofresh in Vietnam

Paul, Justin and Ly.jpgXM Asia Pacific has acquired a majority stake in Sofresh, a digital creative agency in Vietnam. The deal, XM Asia's third acquisition in the last 15 months, will expand XM and JWT's digital offering in this fast-emerging, increasingly wired ASEAN market.

Sofresh, co-founded in 2007 by Ly Viet Vu (pictured right) and Justin Cohen (pictured centre), develops digital strategies, digital creative concepts, content, and marketing campaigns across multiple digital channels, including social media, mobile and the web. The company also designs and builds e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and in-store digital installations. Sofresh has worked with a range of local and global clients, including Diageo, GSK, Kinh Do, Techcombank and Unilever.
The company, which employs 85 digital specialists, was named Campaign Asia's "Vietnam Digital Agency of the Year - Silver" in 2013, as well as "Vietnam Digital Agency of the Year - Gold" and "Vietnam Creative Agency of the Year - Silver" in 2012.

This is the third digital acquisition in the last year for XM Asia, which bought Thomas Idea in Thailand in March 2013 and Designercity in Hong Kong in October 2013. XM Asia, which has offices in Singapore and Malaysia, also acquired XM Gravity in Indonesia in 2012.

"This deal gives us a strong, ground zero position in a market that's about to take off," said Paul Soon, XM Asia CEO (pictured left). "Justin and Ly have built up a very dynamic offering. There's a real connection with the team at Sofresh, and they are a great fit for XM and JWT."

Internet penetration in Vietnam is relatively low, at one-third, but that is growing rapidly as more of the country's decidedly young population gains internet access. About 60% of Vietnam's population is under 30 years old, and 85% is under 40.

"We are thrilled to be part of XM Asia and the WPP family. With XM Asia's vast experience across different markets in Asia and already proving themselves as Asia's leading digital agency, we found them as the right partner to strengthen our digital offerings which will be unique in Vietnam," says Cohen.

"Now that we are a part of the JWT network, we will be able to take giant leaps forward in our never ending quest of connecting and strengthening bonds between a consumer and a brand," says Vu.

JWT Asia Pacific has invested heavily in expanding its digital footprint over the last two years. In addition to XM Asia's recent acquisitions, JWT acquired Hungama Digital Services in India and took a stake in Converge, in Pakistan, in 2012, and bought Post Visual, a digital creative agency in Korea in 2013.

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