VML To Acquire Biggs|Gilmore

VML, part of WPP’s Y&R group, has agreed to acquire digital agency Biggs|Gilmore which has offices in Chicago and Kalamazoo, MI. Those offices will be re-branded as VML by the beginning of the year, the agency confirmed.

Terms weren’t disclosed. B|G had revenues of $21 million for the 12-month period ended September 2013, according to the agency.

For VML it’s the latest step in a series of expansion moves this year, although the agency said it’s the first North American acquisition it has made since acquiring Studiocom in 2005. Just last month Studiocom was absorbed into the VML operation, creating three new VML-branded offices in Boston, Atlanta and Bogota, Colombia.

Last month VML bought Beijing-based agency IM2.0. Earlier this year it acquired stakes in agencies in South Africa and Poland and opened an office in Tokyo.

B|G is currently led by Jane Tamraz, CEO, and Mike Gerfen, president, who both will assume roles on the executive leadership team as executive directors of VML in Chicago and Kalamazoo, respectively. Staff across both offices totals 140.



B|G’s key clients include Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, which are also on VML’s client roster, as well as Foster Farms and Stryker. 

In fact, part of the motivation for the acquisition was the shared clients, said Jon Cook, CEO and president at VML. “It became clear to both VML and Biggs|Gilmore that we could provide an even deeper offering by joining forces,” he said. “We share a vision for what the agency of the future will be and, notably, a depth in expertise within the consumer packaged goods space.”

Tamraz said the agreement to be acquired by VML is “a unique opportunity to become part of such a compatible and truly distinct global agency network.” 

Separately, Y&R also confirmed a transaction today—the acquisition of a majority stake in Plasenta Conversation Agency, a social media agency based in Istanbul, Turkey. 

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