LBI Acquires Special Ops Media

Further strengthening its U.S. position, European digital agency LBI International has acquired New York-based digital marketing and design shop Special Ops Media.

LBI, which already owns New York interactive shops IconNicholson and Syrup, has agreed to pay between $20 and $45 million for Special Ops, depending on its performance over time.

Founded in 2002 by Jason Klein and Christian Anthony, Special Ops has served clients like Coca-Cola, MTV, and NBC Universal with a staff of 64 employees. Last year, it reported $22.3 million in gross billings, net sales of just over $10 million and $4 million in earnings before interest and taxes.

According to LBI CEO Luke Taylor, Special Ops offers expertise in key growth areas for digital media. "Special Ops have, in particular, unique skills in innovative social network marketing and online PR," he said.

LBI was created in 2006 through the combination of LB Icon with Swedish Web agency Framfab, and now employs some 1,500 staffers throughout the world with over 20 offices in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, London, Mumbai, New York, Paris and Stockholm.

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Previously, said LBI's Taylor, "we communicated our intent to extend and deepen our service offer in the United States."

LBI is traded on Euronext in Amsterdam and as a Mid Cap company on the OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm. Last year, it made several acquisitions, including Atlanta interactive agency Creative Digital Group and the New York-based Syrup.

Other Special Ops clients have included AMC, The Sundance Channel, Lionsgate Entertainment, Paramount, Universal Music Group, and others.

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