Code & Theory (C&T) is making its fifth acquisition since 2015 by scooping up Kettle to expand its creative and production capabilities as well as strengthen its e-commerce expertise.
Founded in 2009, Kettle offers digital services to clients including National Geographic, SoFi, Glossier, ZocDoc, American Express, Discover, and Oakley. The 65-person shop has offices in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Under the deal, Kettle, whose CEO and co-founder is Olivier Peyre, will continue to operate as a stand-alone agency.
“They have established their own brand and culture which is meaningful to their employees and valuable to their clients,” says Dan Gardner, CEO, C&T.
Both sides started discussing the possibility of a merger about a year ago. “We’re both growing and saw an opportunity to accelerate both of our growth trajectories and offerings with this deal,” says Gardner.
While C&T builds out its end-to-end ecosystem, Kettle gains access to the firm’s specialized technology, development, and engineering teams, as well as its data, analytics, research and testing teams. It also can tap into C&T’s global network.
C&T is eyeing additional deals in the near future, bolstered by a stronger parent company after owner Mark Penn merged C&T’s MDC Partners with the Stagwell Group in December. Gardner states “Stagwell has empowered us to make strategic acquisitions that make sense from both capabilities and business sense.”
The acquisition adds to C&T’s existing network, which includes Mediacurrent, a leader in Drupal technology; Rhythm, a specialist in loyalty and performance marketing; and Code and Theory Health, a business unit recently created to focus on healthcare.