Aegis snaps up digital hotshop Glue for £14m

LONDON - Glue London, the digital creative hotshop founded by Mark Cridge, has been bought by Aegis Group in a deal worth up to £14.1m.

Cridge, who will remain as the agency's managing director, stands to make up to £4m from his 28% stake in the business.

Glue's two other main shareholders -- the creative director, Seb Royce, and the planning director, Martin Bailie -- could pocket up to £3.1m and £2.5m respectively from their 22% and 18% shares. The remaining 32% is held by the agency's staff.

Aegis will make an upfront payment of £5m, with the remainder coming from a three-year earn-out subject to the agency meeting performance targets. Glue, which has created award-winning work for clients including Unilever and Virgin, will retain its branding but will join Aegis' Isobar network.

The parties have been in talks for the past 18 months, but negotiations began in earnest in February before contracts were signed this week. The existing management team will stay in place at least until the earn-out is completed, although Cridge is likely to consult on new projects within Isobar.

Cridge said: "We have had plenty of approaches but Aegis is the only network that understands how digital will transform advertising. The calibre of creative agencies in the group will also help us with pan-European work."

Glue also stands to benefit from Isobar's strong media buying presence. In the UK, the network owns Carat Digital and Diffiniti, as well as the digital agency de-construct.

Nigel Morris, the chief executive of Isobar, said: "Glue is strongly complementary to the existing agencies in the group. Our baseline for an acquisition is that the agency has been through the boom-and-bust period and is able to generate a return for our shareholders, but with this one we have also brought in some fantastic new talent."

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