Freshwater has bought Merlin Marketing and PR, a Cardiff agency whose clients include HBOS Cards and Penderyn Welsh Whisky. Merlin founder Bruce Morris, who started it as a TV production business in 1985, will run the newly merged agency. Freshwater now has a staff of 139 in ten offices across the UK and in Brussels.
Freshwater UK CEO Steve Howell said the Merlin deal is part of the AIM-listed group's strategy of building up regional networks.
‘The acquisition significantly enhances our existing graphic design, digital media and marketing offering,' added Howell.
Freshwater paid £1m in cash, shares and future profits for Merlin. Last year, it bought Leeds agency Lynx (PRWeek, 8 November 2007) and paid £2.24m for public affairs firm Waterfront (PRWeek, 4 December 2007).