Cheil Worldwide, the marketing solutions company based in Seoul, has signed a deal to acquire a significant initial investment in iris, the global creative innovation network. This will potentially rise to 100% of the business over the next five years.
Cheil’s initial investment in iris will be the start of a new partnership that will enable the two companies to extend and deepen their global capabilities in creativity, strategy, retail, digital, data, analytics, B2B and CRM, while offering clients the most progressive work available in the world today.
The partnership begins with a shared vision to create a genuine alternative to the traditional holding company model. This will replace the relationship iris had with Meredith, the US based publisher.
Since its launch in 1999, iris has been an independently minded, entrepreneurial business; with a determination to do things differently. As part of Cheil’s family, iris will be able to continue on this journey, whilst accelerating growth through strategic backing from Cheil.
Daiki Lim, president and CEO of Cheil Worldwide, said: “Our goal was to find the right partner who could match our determination and drive. We’ve watched with awe how iris has built its global business and we are delighted to have this opportunity to work with their brand. Their membership in the Cheil Worldwide network will bring great value and agility to us and to our clients.
“Together with iris, we will provide a different level of service that is able to achieve amazing new creativity and offer best-in-class capabilities. This relationship is a key catalyst in our ambition to be the best possible partner to our clients to deliver ‘Ideas That Move’.”
Ian Millner, joint chief executive at iris, added: “We are about to enter the most exciting chapter for iris. This partnership won’t change who we are or what we do as a creative innovation network – but will extend our global reach and capabilities, and enable our clients and people to benefit from the huge opportunity presented by a true ‘East Meets West’ and ‘West Meets East’ network.
“Over the last 16 years we have retained an entrepreneurial spirit that is engrained in our DNA. In looking for the next step forwards we have found a partner that matches our ambition. Together we will become a real force to be reckoned with, the type of agency group that will define the future of the agency model.”
Cheil is one of the world’s leading marketing solutions agencies with a 5,000-strong group of optimistic, open-minded and talented individuals operating from 48 offices and eight affiliates in 41 countries globally.
iris, over the past 16 years, has grown into a 1,000-strong global organisation based on providing an alternative solution to the traditional advertising agency; blending content, creativity and commerce seamlessly around client and consumer challenges.
Cheil was advised by Results International and Linklaters, iris was advised by Osborne Clarke and BDO.