Fimalac, the group owned by French billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, has bought a majority stake in London-based digital marketing agency Jellyfish as it seeks to compete in an increasingly online advertising landscape.
Fimalac data-driven marketing specialist Tradelab will be merged with Jellyfish, the companies said, to create a combined entity with a market capitalisation of around £500m.
“Today’s brands need digital partners who are able to offer capabilities that go beyond the traditional agency model,” said Jellyfish chief executive Rob Pierre.
Jellyfish, which was founded in 2005, was an early adopter of search engine optimisation techniques. It works with companies including Uber, Ebay, Asos and Spotify to help them apply digital analytics to advertising.
Traditional advertising agency models have been disrupted by rapidly-growing online competitors recently. These include Martin Sorrel’s digital only S4 Capital, which he founded last year after being forced out of his old firm WPP.
“I am very proud to help Jellyfish and Tradelab join forces to build a new global leader with a unique set of expertise and talents, helping brands navigate technology and data,” said Ladreit de Lacharrière.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Pierre will continue to lead Jellyfish, while Tradelab founder and chief executive Yohann Dupasquier will join the company’s board.
“Data is everywhere and users rightfully want more control over the relationships they have with brands,” said Dupasquier.
“We’re thrilled to scale our technology and data-by-design approach with Jellyfish. It is essential for us to help brands through this revolution and take a scientific approach to making them relevant everywhere in the world.”
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