Interpublic Group’s (IPG) Lowe and Partners division has acquired global digital agency Profero for an undisclosed sum.
The deal will see the agency rebranded as Lowe Profero, and will be fully integrated into the Lowe and Partner network.
Lowe and Profero have a history of working together, having shared clients including Danone, Diageo, Unilever and TreSemme.
The current management team from Profero will lead the newly integrated agency Lowe Profero , reporting to CEO Michael Wall.
Profero co-founder Wayne Arnold will become global CEO of Lowe Profero.
Results International advised on the deal. Results' senior partner Andy Collins said: "As one of the few remaining major independent international digital agencies, Profero is an obvious target for any buyer looking to build its global digital capabilities.
"It has extensive multi-region capabilities, including key markets such as the US and Asia. It was one of the first western digital players to enter the Chinese market and the agency’s senior management has demonstrated huge commitment to growing its business in Asia. It is highly respected for its growth – particularly impressive when you consider most of it is organic – and for the quality of its management team and the 'Profero way' of thinking.
"If you look at some of the recent big deals in the sector, they’ve been driven by client synergy as well as capability. BlueFocus cited this when it acquired We Are Social at the end of 2013 and this Profero-Lowe deal is no exception, with both parties sharing the Unilever account.
"But what really makes the deal attractive for Lowe is Profero’s joined-up approach and global scale. With so many M&A deals in marcoms these days being about a larger buyer acquiring a niche business, it’s still vital for the networks to be able to seize whole new markets and technologies with a single, large-scale acquisition.
"So, what does this mean for the mainly smaller digital agencies with much less scale that remain? Without global capabilities we will see them working to forge partnerships and alliances, both formal and informal of a kind that will allow them to compete for the big international briefs that would otherwise remain out of their reach."
Michael Roth, chairman and CEO of Interpublic, said: “Embedding digital talent and capabilities throughout our organisation has been a key strategic priority for IPG. With the launch of Lowe Profero, Michael Wall and TonyWright, along with Wayne, are putting that approach into action.
“The opportunities for the new network are tremendous. Coming into this deal, both agencies bring exceptional operations in high - growth markets; they have a strong track record of successful collaboration on major digital assignments; and the leadership teams have great chemistry with one another that clients can feel.”
All Profero offices will be rebranded to Lowe Profero and initially the two networks will focus on building a fully integrated offer across five major global locations – the UK, US, Australia, China, and Singapore.
The agency, known for client work such as the successful Smirnoff Night Life Exchange, counts Unilever, ASOS, Diageo, Marks & Spencer and Western Union among its clients.