WPP Group’s e-commerce division WPP.com has been shopping across the globe for strategic stakes in e-businesses complementary to its extant interactive portfolio.

The world’s biggest advertising and marketing services network has taken minority holdings in five companies: Big Words (San Francisco), a website targeting college students; Imagine (Rehovot, Israel), a vendor of electronic customer-relationship management software; Metapack (London) which designs, builds and manages online logistics services; Red Sheriff (Sydney), an internet market research and measurement company; and online venture capital and incubator specialist Spydre Labs (Miami).

WPP has bought a stake of around 25% in the latter company but less than 20% in the others.

News source: Wall Street Journal