MullenLowe London has completed its purchase of agency 101 London, axing the independent brand in the process.
The Drum understands the news was confirmed to staff at its London office yesterday (22 August). 101 will be fully merged with – and rebranded as – MullenLowe London, with all its talent moving to join the MullenLowe Group's Shoreditch office.
101 founders Phil Rumbol, Laurence Green, Mark Elwood, and Steve Waring will become part of the management team.
The agency's website disappeared overnight, while its social channels have rebranded to feature MullenLowe's signature octopus logo.
— 101 (@101_London) August 23, 2017
Financial details of the deal are as yet unknown.
M&A firm SI Partners advised on the transaction and declined to comment.
Dale Gall, MullenLowe London’s chief executive, said the acquisition gave his agency the change to "accelerate" his ambition to bringing together "best of breed creativity, PR, digital, media, CRM and strategy".
The deal is also something of a old boys reunion for Alex Leikikh, global chief executive of MullenLowe Group. He commented: “Having worked with Laurence and Steve during our Fallon days I can tell you that they and their team will make us smarter, more creative, more nimble, and more efficient. And on a personal level I’m thrilled to reunite and work with old friends.”
Green agreed: "It's an exciting new chapter for us all, perhaps especially for Phil and I as people who earned their advertising spurs at Lowe, as client and strategist respectively.
“Becoming part of MullenLowe doesn't just mean a broader offering for our clients and a bigger stage for our colleagues. We know, like and respect the team, and we share their mission to win an unfair share of attention and success for their clients."
Whispers of a purchase were first heard back in July. 101 brings the likes of Britvic, Game, Heineken, Zoopla and Burton's Biscuit Company to its new owner.
The news comes amid an period of consolidation within the industry, with consultancies Accenture and Deloitte Digital leading the pack in buying up independent businesses.
Outside of the consultancies' spending spree, Lucky Generals completed its sale to TBWA in February, while MullenLowe purchased Salt Communications last month.