LB Icon unites with Framfab in Europe

The digital agencies Framfab and LB Icon have agreed to a merger that will create a European digital network with a market capitalisation of around £223 million.

Framfab will be the parent company of the combined group, which will employ 1,200 staff and operate in ten European countries, including the UK. A new name for the network will be announced in May.

In the UK, the merger affects the LB Icon-owned Wheel, Framfab's UK office and Oyster Partners, which Framfab acquired in June last year. It is not yet clear whether the merger will involve a physical integration of the agencies, although Wheel and Oyster in particular offer similar services.

The only UK client overlap is BT, for which Oyster runs web development and Wheel provides digital advertising.

Ewen Sturgeon, the managing director at Wheel, said the merger is about creating growth in a growth market. He said: "As funds switch to digital, big brands will look for big agencies that understand the international arena. The merger gives the group an international footprint and a full-service offering."