In a bid to strengthen its UK business, Interpublic Group’s Draftfcb Worldwide has acquired London-based Inferno, the agencies have confirmed. The price is estimated at $18 million, with additional payouts tied to performance benchmarks.
The deal was orchestrated by Carter Murray, who joined Draftfcb as global CEO just a few months ago. The deal is the latest in a series of moves he has made to shore up the organization.
Last month Murray hired Lee Garfinkel to run the New York office effective in January. Earlier he appointed Nigel Jones worldwide chief strategy officer and Chris Shumaker as North American CMO.
Founded in 2000, Inferno will be merged into Draftfcb’s existing UK operation and the new entity will be called Inferno Draftfcb. Its offering will include advertising, CRM, retail, Web design, content creation, mobile and social media and other services.
Frazer Gibney, founding partner and CEO of Inferno, will become the CEO of Inferno Draftfcb, reporting to Murray. Kate Howe, current head of Draftfcb’s UK and Europe operations, is leaving the agency effective at year’s end.
"The move is a win-win for all involved," said Murray. "Inferno and Draftfcb’s combined capabilities and instant critical mass will enable the agency to better service global clients and grow more quickly organically. With such deep bench strength, increased thought leadership and an unwavering commitment to creativity, we are confident of and excited about our future in the UK."
Inferno’s clients include the UK Government, BskyB, Nokia, and Skype, among others.