Brazil’s CI&T swoops for Somo in £49m transatlantic takeover

London-based independent digital product agency Somo has changed hands following a £49m acquisition by Brazil-based agency CI&T.

The international transaction unites some of the world’s biggest brands including Johnson & Johnson, AB InBev and Google across both hemispheres subject to formal approval, expected by March.

The transatlantic takeover will accelerate CI&T’s European growth ambitions by handing it an established presence in London, with a ready-made pool of talent and clients.

Shrugging aside the challenges of the global pandemic, Somo secured a clutch of new client wins in 2021 including E.On, SSE and Virgin Media, making it a prized catch in the competitive digital products sector.

Now drawn under CI&T’s wings, the deal will fold Somo’s 300 digital specialists based across America and Britain, with the Brazilian business’s global team of 5,500 specialists to provide the scale and capabilities for future success.

Somo CEO Nick Hynes, who co-founded the agency in 2010, will move to the role of Somo president with immediate effect integrating globally across CI&T and expanding the operations across Europe. Co-founder and COO Carl Uminski will assume the role of Somo CEO. Somo’s strong leadership team remains in place. The pair said: “We’ve had an incredible decade growing Somo into one of the industry’s leading independent digital product agencies. We plan to further enrich the services that we provide as we keep a sharp focus on doing the best work for clients.”

Offering CI&T’s perspective, founder and chief exec Cesar Gon added: “Somo and CI&T have a similar culture – people first, innovation-driven and a strong reputation with global brands. Together we will be able to combine the power of a global company with the strength of a strong European player.”

Somo operates offices across the UK, US and Colombia, reporting net revenue of £25m in 2021, a 41% rise from 2020, earning plaudits for its website design work.