Paratus was set up by John Rivett and Dominic Shales in 2003, and the acquisition follows the relaunch of Lexis in November 2011 as The Recommendation Agency along with a focus to increase its online output.
Paratus has a the four-strong digital team headed by Adam Vincenzini, and a client list including Costa Coffee, AXA, Decathlon, Shell, Sainsbury’s and current Lexis client, Coca-Cola.
Its overall team of 11 full-time staffers is also backed by a 150-strong global freelance network.
As part of Lexis’ effort to grow as an integrated, multi-disciplinary agency, the regional offer of Paratus was seen to be suited to Lexis’ focus on recommendation. Half of its consumers rely on recommendations to select local business services.
Jason Gallucci, CEO of Lexis, said: ‘While both company names derive from ancient language and combine to mean 'Prepared Words' this is very much an acquisition that helps us to continue to deliver award-winning campaigns today while exploring the future power of third party endorsement across all channels.'
Commenting on the deal, Rivett and Shales said: 'We are very excited about joining Lexis and the Next 15 group of companies. The last eight years at Paratus have been an amazing experience, from starting the company to growing it through our work with some fantastic businesses.
'Now is a great time to move to the next level by joining forces with such a respected established agency. It's going to be very positive for our team and clients.'
The deal will see Rivett become head of consumer at Lexis. Shales will become head of content, creative, planning and digital.
Vincenzini will lead the Lexis digital offer reporting to Shales. All three will continue to work with their current client portfolios.
The central Paratus team will move into the Lexis office, where they will continue to work with both their current clients and Lexis clients.
In keeping with the Paratus business model, senior freelancers will continue to provide specialist expertise and services.