Ad TechAdvertisersAgenciesCreativeFinanceMediaNewsSocial MediaTechnology

Brandtech finally nails Jellyfish deal – French backer becomes key partner in expanded business

David Jones’ Brantech Group has closed its deal to buy Fimalac-backed digital agency Jellyfish – after 18 months of trying. Fimalac gets an undisclosed stake in Brandtech and two seats on the board.

So is this a merger in all but name? After all if it looks like a merger, walks like a merger and talks like a merger then….Hard to be sure, of course, without knowing the Fimalac stake.

Fimalac, founded and still owned by French magnate Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, has fingers in many pies including real estate. It’s rather like the Bolloré empire, which owns a controlling stake in Vivendi (including Havas) and much else besides.

But its media and tech interests may now be aligned with Brandtech which has failed to grow substantially in media since setting up its own media operation headed by former Mindshare CEO Nick Emery. In that respect it’s like Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital which is still largely built around the Media.Monks digital content business. Brandtech owns in-housing specialist agency Oliver.

Brandtech claims the deal creates the number one digital-only marketing group in the world with more than $1bn in revenue, over 7,000 employees, working for eight out of 10 of the world’s largest advertisers.

Jones (above with new Brandtech team) says: “I first met Rob (Pierre, Jellyfish founder) back in 2016 and it’s been incredibly impressive to see what he and the team have built over the years. Both companies are industry disruptors at global scale, both built on founder energy, and both are obsessive about solving our clients’ biggest marketing challenges.

“And we also share the belief that technology is the key to doing this. I’m obviously excited about bringing them into the group but even more excited for what we are now going to be able to deliver for our clients. And I’m thrilled to welcome Fimalac as shareholders and board members.”

Emery, who now heads Jellyfish, says: “David (Jones) brought me in to help build a new age global marketing and media operation for the Group. Jellyfish not only delivers real global scale in digital media but also significantly enhances our data, technology and content capabilities, with more to come.”

Digital may just about have taken over the marketing and media world but the world’s bigger companies still seem reluctant to entrust all their business to a digital-first entity. Brandtech now has more scale but will it be enough to change their minds?

Back to top button