14 June 2021

KWM advises Axiata Digital Advertising (ADA) on merger with eCommerce enabler, Awake Asia

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has advised Axiata Digital Advertising (ADA), a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad, on the acquisition of Awake Asia, an eCommerce enabler with operations in six countries in Southeast Asia.

The merger, effective from 1 June 2021, represents an important step towards building an integrated end-to-end eCommerce practice in the region, bringing together Awake Asia's deep eCommerce expertise with ADA's media, creative, and analytics solutions which drive online sales for brands.

The new integrated eCommerce practice will become available across ten markets in South and Southeast Asia – Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, South Korea, and Vietnam.

The KWM team on the deal was led by Singapore Partner Nick Davies and comes just after ADA’s alliance with SoftBank announced last month, which saw SoftBank invest US$60 million to expand and accelerate ADA Group’s analytics, data and AI digital marketing business in the region – a deal led by KWM Singapore Partner, Jake Robson.

“ADA’s merger with eCommerce company, Awake Asia, marks another milestone in ADA’s strategic growth in South and Southeast Asia and cements it as a leader in the region. Having advised ADA on their alliance with Softbank, we are delighted to deepen our relationship  to support them as they attract high profile investors and continue to execute their growth strategy,” said Jake.

As consumers increasingly transition from bricks and mortar to online, businesses are faced with the challenge of adapting their marketing practices to maximise return on investment. By merging with Awake Asia, ADA has strengthened its regional technical capability to help businesses adjust to this new digital environment

Nick Davies added:

“Awake Asia has shown impressive growth and expansion across Southeast Asia, and executing the merger enables ADA to leverage this. Our clients from within and outside the region often need to pursue a curated blend of organic growth, strategic partnerships and M&A to get ahead of the rapid pace of change in the region. Executing these transactions is not straightforward, but this another example how the KWM Singapore team can enable clients to implement strategies to unlock competitive advantages and synergies across ASEAN”. 

ADA is an Axiata Group Berhad data and artificial intelligence company that designs and executes integrated digital, analytics, and marketing solutions. ADA partners with leading brands to drive their digital and data maturity, and in May 2021, KWM advised on ADA’s alliance with SoftBank Corp.

Axiata Group Berhad is one of the leading telecommunications groups in Asia. In pursuit of a vision to be the Next Generation Digital Champion by 2024, Axiata has transformed itself from a holding entity with a portfolio of pure-play mobile assets into a Triple Core Strategy-driven business focusing on Digital Telco, Digital Businesses and Infrastructure.

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