Lori Senecal’s New York agency KBS, owned by MDC & Partners, is expanding in the UK by buying a majority stake in London creative and digital agency Albion.
KBS is following in the footsteps of a number of US agencies including Crispin Porter (also owned by MDC), Droga5 and Mcgarrybowen which have all set up shop in London recently.
Buying into Albion, which employs about 100 people and specialises in smaller clients including start-ups, is probably a quicker way to grow in the UK than starting from scratch. None of the other three have exactly taken London by storm.
The new agency will be known as KBS Albion and be headed by founder Jason Goodman (left) as CEO. Goodman calls the deal “a very strategic fit.”
Senecal, who was recently promoted from CEO of KBS to president and CEO of MDC Partner Network, effectively founder Miles Nadal’s number two, says: “It’s really time to build out our global capacity. We share similar cultures and we approach business similarly. Albion is a fast-growing company that shares our passion for entrepreneurship and invention – two core aspects to our culture.”
Interestingly, executive search firm Grace Blue worked with MDC Partners on the deal. Grace Blue chairman Gay Haines says: “This acquisition is a very smart move for KBS and has some interesting implications for how M&A is carried out in the future. MDC went to great lengths to ensure the right fit – it was not just about the financial ramifications.
“We set about finding the right company, not the most obvious one. Both businesses took pains to ensure the cultural match was a good one and that they shared the same approach to business development and future strategic thinking.”