Results International has advised Profero on its acquisition by Lowe & Partners

  • Service: M&A
  • Sector: Technology
  • Sub Sector: Digital Marketing
  • Engagement Type: Sell Side
Jan 2014
has been acquired by
an IPG company

Founded in 1998, Profero is one of the largest remaining independent digital agencies with global reach. Known for its award winning campaigns, including Smirnoff’s Nightlife Exchange project and ASOS Marketplace, its expertise is undisputed in the digital space.

SITUATION
Key to Profero’s success is its global platform, with principal hubs in London, New York, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney, together with offices in Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. A majority of Profero’s growth has been organic, providing a powerful joined-up network and consistency across the group, and enabling clients to be serviced on an international basis. Profero first expanded outside of Europe in 2001 when it opened its Sydney office and then rapidly across Asia including opening in China in 2007.

The Profero Board appointed Results International following a competitive pitch to assess its strategic options, support its acquisition strategy in Japan and advise the Company and shareholders on how best to realise value over time.

OPPORTUNITY
Over the years Profero has been approached by a number of interested parties. Although only part way through a three year plan, and not actively seeking a partner, the scarcity of such a high quality, scalable digital independents meant that the timing in the market was interesting.

Profero offered enormous potential to any partner due to the strength of its management team and digital DNA. Following extensive conversations with one of the direct approaches, it was evident that Lowe & Partners (“Lowe”) represented a very strong cultural and business fit and that the structure of the offer for the different shareholders presented a unique opportunity for both parties. Most importantly for the team it created an opportunity to build something bigger and bolder off its existing base rather than being a standard stand alone acquisition.

RESULTS’ ROLE
Results International worked closely with Profero on evaluating strategic options as well as identifying and supporting the acquisition of Alien Eye to expand Profero’s activities in Japan (pre transaction with Lowe). Results assisted in the development of the integration plans, structuring of the buy out of different shareholder groups and took the role of lead advisor through the transaction.

OUTCOME
Following the transaction, a majority of Lowe’s digital capabilities will be merged with Profero to create the Lowe Profero group, under the direction of the existing Profero management team. Profero’s operations will substantially help bolster the Lowe network’s digital capabilities globally.

The Lowe network also offers Profero access to locations where it has not yet established a presence. In addition, significant client synergies are expected as the two networks share a number of clients already, the most notable being Unilever. The combined business is well placed to provide something extremely unique in an increasingly complex and crowded market.

This is an important and exciting next step for both of our teams. We have invested a lot of time and thought into bringing this new network to fruition. We know each other well, we work together seamlessly and we both believe in and understand the benefits of a complementary and integrated advertising and digital offering.

Wayne Arnold

Global CEO, Lowe Profero

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