IPG acquires a 20% stake in new-media shop Icon Medialab

The Interpublic Group has made one of the largest investments in new media by the advertising industry, spending dollars 20 million to acquire a minority stake in the Swedish new-media agency, Icon Medialab.

The Interpublic Group has made one of the largest investments in

new media by the advertising industry, spending dollars 20 million to

acquire a minority stake in the Swedish new-media agency, Icon

Medialab.



Icon will now form a strategic alliance with IPG’s McCann-Erickson

network, the most immediate effects of which will be the merger of the

two companies’ operations in Norway.



At a later date, Icon may also work with IPG’s other agency brands,

Ammirati Puris Lintas and Lowe & Partners Worldwide.



The deal gives IPG just short of a 20 per cent stake in Icon and makes

it the company’s largest single shareholder. IPG has an option to

increase its stake over time to 43.9 per cent.



IPG has been in talks with Icon for the past year and made a failed bid

to acquire the company last spring before Icon floated on the Swedish

stock exchange.



The deal allows Icon, which has ten offices around the globe, to expand

in the US, where it will work with McCanns as its preferred new-media

supplier.



Franco Fedeli, the chief executive officer of Icon, said: ’We needed an

American partner. It’s a win:win with IPG. They have the clients but not

the skill or the capacity. They could get the capacity, but this is a

quick way.’



Icon’s UK office has 30 staff and its clients include Fujitsu, the

Financial Times and BP.



David King, Icon’s UK managing director, said: ’We will have a strategic

alignment with McCanns. This will have number of implications for our

ability to increase our market penetration and our profile in the UK.’



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