Thinkerbell has bought back the ten per cent stake owned by PwC in the agency, as the professional services firm.
PwC purchased the stake just a few months after the agency was founded in 2017 by Adam Ferrier, Jim Ingram and Ben Couzens. It was worth $300,000 at the time.
Thinkerbell won the Best Out-of-Home Campaign gong at last year’s B&T Awards for its work with Furphy and also counts the likes of IAG, XXXX Gold, Menulog, Mars and Vegemite among its clients.
On the relationship with PwC, Group chief exec and Thinkerbell partner Margie Reid said that “all good things must come to an end.”
“It’s been an incredible journey these last five years, and we have loved our time with PwC,” she explained.
“After much deliberation, we’ve mutually decided that it’s best to return PwC Australia’s stake back into Thinkerbell ownership.
“We thank everyone at PwC for their belief and support in Thinkerbell. We value our independence and we are excited about what the future holds.”
The deal with PwC was facilitated by Russel Howcroft, PwC’s chief creative officer and co-architect of the firm’s marketing division, CMO Advisory. At the time, PwC was battling with the other big consulting companies to improve its marketing and advertising capabilities but moved the team into its customer and experience division in 2021.
PwC was also looking to acquire The Monkeys in 2017, but the creative shop went with Accenture for $63 million.
Adam Ferrirer, co-founder and partner at Thinkerbell (as well as star of B&T TV), said was the right time for the agency to move out on its own.
“Thinkerbell has grown from a few people in a share house to an agency of around 160 people across Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand. It’s time to part ways and explore our next adventure,” he said.
“This is a corporate conscious uncoupling, but to quote the song, ‘every new beginning comes from some other new beginning’s end.’”
The deal to buy back shares from PwC was finalised last Friday. Thinkerbell will continue to support PwC Australia as one of its agency partners.