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WPP acquires Chinese market research company Oracle

LONDON - WPP Group's insight, information and consultancy division Kantar has acquired Chinese market research firm Oracle, one of the largest independent market research firms in China.

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The deal includes acquisition of Hong Kong-based Oracle Market Research and Oracle Market Information & Software Services, which is based in Beijing.

As part of the deal, the Oracle operation is to join Kantar's Added Value network and will change its name to Oracle Added Value.

Oracle also has offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou and clients include Coca-Cola, Unilever, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Danone and HSBC. It employs 130 people and last year recorded an annual revenue of $8.4m.

According to WPP, the acquisition "continues WPP's strategy of developing its capabilities in fast-growing and important markets".

Earlier this month, Enlightenment, the customer intelligence service set up by Kantar companies BRMB and Millward Brown, announced the appointment of Sandy Livingstone as business development director. At the same time Enlightenment also unveiled internet bank Egg as its first client.

WPP sees market research as one of its growth areas as clients see the sector as increasingly important.

This is one of the reasons why Tamara Ingram, the former chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann-Erickson UK, was last year named president of three Kantar insight companies.

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