BBH acquires stake in Brazilian shop to lure Unilever briefs

Bartle Bogle Hegarty has expanded its international capabilities with the acquisition of a significant minority stake in the Brazilian shop Neogama.

The move has been necessitated by the needs of BBH's global clients, Unilever in particular. The new partnership, based in Sao Paulo, will be called Neogama BBH.

The Bcom3 subsidiary Leo Burnett owns a minority stake in Neogama as well as a 49 per cent equity stake in BBH. The deal has resulted in a three-way ownership structure. No shares have been exchanged.

Neogama was founded in 1999 by the agency's president and creative director, Alexandre Gama. It has since become a top-20 agency in Brazil and was the country's first agency to win a Lion at Cannes.

Simon Sherwood, the chief operating officer of BBH Worldwide, said: "One of the ambitions we have is to be able to handle Unilever in this part of the world. For Unilever to view us as a truly global agency, then we had to have some presence in this market."

"We have rejected the conventional network arrangement. Our approach is to set up regional centres and our ambition is to have a presence in each of the major economic continents, rather than have an office in every single market," Sherwood added.

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