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Omnicom’s Wren Weighs Small Acquisitions in Vietnam, Indonesia

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Omnicom Group Inc., the second-largest advertising company, is weighing takeovers in Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Brazil to expand alongside its biggest customers in the world’s higher-growth markets.

The company, which is working to expand a data-gathering system that trolls the Internet for information on customers and brands, will probably stick with a strategy of making smaller purchases in new markets and technology, with the bulk of spending in emerging markets, Chief Executive Officer John Wren said in an interview during a conference in Barcelona organized by Morgan Stanley.

Omnicom operates in more than 100 countries. The New York-based company’s emerging-market operations include helping Hero Honda Motors Ltd., India’s biggest motorcycle maker, develop a new brand as the manufacturer’s Japanese partner withdraws, and overseeing advertising for consumer-goods producer Unilever in China and Poland.

“Every great opportunity, we’ll look at it,” Wren said. Omnicom would be unwilling to pay quoted prices for many companies, as “biggest is not our strategy.”

Omnicom had less than $1 billion in cash as of September, according to a regulatory filing.

Omnicom bid on a digital company this year for an amount that later turned out to be less than a third of the winning offer, Chief Financial Officer Randy Weisenburger said.

The advertising company, whose rivals include WPP Plc and Publicis Groupe SA, said Oct. 30 that it agreed to buy a majority stake in India’s Mundra Group.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in Barcelona via athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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