MWW acquires UK agency Braben and eyes more international deals

Major US independent agency MWW has bought London-based b2b specialist Braben and could seal another deal before the end of the year.

MWW and Braben: (l-r) Matt Bourn, Michael Kempner, Paddy Herridge, Sarah Locke
MWW and Braben: (l-r) Matt Bourn, Michael Kempner, Paddy Herridge, Sarah Locke

Braben, which was founded in 1994 by Sarah Locke, serves a number of media industry brands, such as Bauer Media, The Weather Channel and media buying agency Starcom MediaVest Group.
 
MWW founder Michael Kempner told PRWeek he expected to be able to announce a further acquisition before the second quarter of 2015, revealing his team was currently "negotiating with several companies" inside and outside Europe.
 
Locke has been lined up to play a key role in MWW’s international development, having been handed the new role of global brand ambassador.
 
The Braben brand will disappear and Braben MD Matt Bourn will become senior vice-president and head of the MWW European media practice.
 
MWW will continue to be run in the UK by Paddy Herridge, who joined as UK MD last November when his former agency Parys Communications became MWW’s first international acquisition.
 
Kempner told PRWeek the combined fee income of MWW’s UK operations and Braben would be approximately £2.5m this year. However, he and Locke declined to disclose further financial details of the acquisition.
 
Over the next few weeks Braben’s 12 staff are expected to move into the same office as MWW’s 12 staff, located nearby in Soho.
 
Kempner said: "It’s hard to meet Sarah and Matt and not want to work with them.
 
"Braben has a fantastic reputation in its market and a great team that know the media, advertising and technology sectors inside and out. When combined with our existing TMT portfolio, the joint business will be among Europe’s market leaders in these sectors."
 
MWW’s clients include the BBC, News UK, Four Seasons Health Care and NCR.
 
Kempner added: "We’re already seeing 50 per cent-plus year-on-year organic growth in the UK business and this acquisition will further accelerate our ambition to become the UK’s leading mid-sized PR agency."

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