Publicis grows Brazilian footprint with Espalhe buy

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Publicis Groupe has acquired a majority stake in Espalhe, a Brazilian integrated agency.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Publicis Groupe has acquired a majority stake in Espalhe, a Brazilian integrated agency.

The firm will be renamed Espalhe MSLGroup and will become part of the MSLGroup network. It will maintain its management team. Gustavo Fortes, MD of Espalhe MSLGroup, will report to Paulo Andreoli, chairman of MSL Latin America.

The deal means that MSL's expanded Brazil team has more than 150 consultants across Espalhe MSLGroup and Andreoli MSLGroup. The operations of each firm will remain separate, but they will collaborate on areas such as business strategy, tools, training, and MSL global initiatives, Publicis said in a statement.

Founded in 2003, Espalhe, which means “spread” in Portuguese, has more than 90 staffers across offices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The firm has capabilities in digital, social, PR, events, and other disciplines. The agency has seen double-digit organic growth in each of the past five years while it has expanded its scope of services, the holding company said in a statement. Espalhe works with Brazilian brands such as Guarana Antarctica and Ambev Corporate as well as international brands such as Fiat/Chrysler, Halls, Activa, and Adidas.

It is Publicis' second agency acquisition since the holding company and rival Omnicom Group announced their plans to merge late last month. Publicis bought Columbus, OH-based digital firm Engauge Marketing two weeks ago. Engauge will become part of Publicis' ZenithOptimedia Group in the US and will be aligned with digital firm Moxie.

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