Indie digital media agency Sparro has been acquired by British firm Brainlabs.
Lead image: Morris Bryant, Sparro co-founder.
Sparro manages the digital media buying for the likes of Estee Lauder, Catch and Temple & Webster and recently won the accounts for retail brands Andie, Archie Rose and Made by Fressko.
The agency was founded by brothers Morris and Cameron Bryant in 2013 and has since grown to 120 people, acquiring creative and production agency Jack Nimble three years ago.
Brainlabs has a similar focus on digital advertising and is backed by private equity money. It has offices in New York, Bengaluru, Buenos Aires, Singapore and São Paulo as well as London and Manchester.
Neither would confirm to the Australian Financial Review how much Brainlabs paid for Sparro but it is estimated that the agency has revenues around $29 million.
“Morris and I chatted a lot about what were the next steps for us as an agency,” Cameron said. “Do we grow ourselves internationally? Do we continue to acquire? We saw this opportunity to make that happen a lot faster – rocket ship ourselves,” said the Bryants.
Stephen Allan, Brainlabs chairman said that it had been eyeing an Australian expansion for some time.
“We wanted a business that had ambitions but would be difficult to fulfil by continuing along their own path independently. We knew of Sparro, and we’ve been talking for more than a while,” Mr Allan said.
Morris Bryant said that Sparro would become the Australian arm of Brainlabs and would change its name in time. He added that it would give the agency the ability to compete in global pitches.
“Us and the other [independent agencies] here have been challenging the market, and now the global indies are playing on the stage,” he said.
“The larger clients we want to work with, they typically all work with holding groups. We see this global footprint, with Sparro expertise, we’ll be able to give those companies another choice”.
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