Michael de Kretser (L), Minister of Information Khieu Khanharith (C) and Siet Sisopheak (R), during a press conference announcing GO’s purchase of Active, on Friday, Sept 21, 2012. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
Malaysian-based GO Communications Group signed an acquisition deal to buy out Cambodian based Active Event Management, on Friday, Sept 21, 2012.
Siet Sisopheak, managing director of Active, said GO became interested in the company because of improvements in Cambodia’s economy and how it would benefit the company in terms of advertising and public relations.
“The reason they are interested in acquiring us is because GO understands that even though we have only been operating for two years, Active has a lot of international clients. Secondly, it’s because we’re at a growing stage. We’ve positioned ourselves as a new but aggressive company,” he said.
“GO Communications is looking at Active to see whether they can make the company succeed in Cambodia in the same way companies like ours succeed in our neighbouring countries,” he continued.
The buyout amount has not been disclosed yet, but the acquisition will see GO become more involved with the business operations of Active. It is expected that they will integrate their resources.
“GO will get more involved with all of our business operations. As yet, we have not been completely merged with GO, but our business operations are within their control,” Siet said.
Michael de Kretser, CEO of GO Communications, said the company has a strategic blueprint and vision to create the largest independent PR network in Asia. He said that the group recently acquired Thailand’s leading public relations agency, DC Consultants in May 2012 and “that was followed quickly with our second acquisition – Active Events in Cambodia”.
“Cambodia has one of the best economic records today in Asia. Economic growth averages over eight per cent – making it one of the world’s top 10 countries in annual GDP growth,” he said. An index of media expansion showed that the telecom sector has the largest budget for advertising, followed by consumer products and services, according to Sisopheak. Active’s main clients are Beeline, Ford, Coca-Cola, LG, Colgate Palmolive, Manulife, Aeon Microfinance, BAT, Dumex and Phnom Penh Securities.
Minister of Information Khieu Khanharith, said GO Communications will bring expertise, experience and resources with a Malaysian business sophistication into Cambodia, helping to ramp up the local public relations industry.
“The acquisition of Active Events has presented our new friends from GO Communications with the expertise to penetrate the Cambodian market,” he said.
“Worldwide today the PR industry is worth over US$5 billion, and it is predicted in the next few years the PR industry value will grow to $1 billion in Asia” said de Kretser.
“In Asia, certainly in Cambodia, public relations will become a vital marketing weapon for most companies and governments,” he said, adding that the growth of digital and social media is contributing to the dynamic growth of PR. He said that currently the company is acquiring PR agencies in Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. “These acquisitions should be completed in the next 12 months.”
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