Fold7 has sold a 64% stake to Miroma Group as the independent shop’s chief executive, Marc Nohr, becomes chairman and group chief executive, agencies.
The deal includes Hyperactive, the brand experience shop founded by Andrew Casher that Fold7 owns a stake in.
The Fold7 leadership team will retain the remaining 36% stake and continue to oversee the day-to-day running of the agency. This includes founder and chief creative officer Ryan Newey, as well as Casher.
Fold7 managing partner James Joice has been promoted to managing director, while the rest of the leadership team continue in their roles. They are: chief strategy officer Yelena Gaufman, people partner Marian Connolly and finance partner Jaz Dulai.
There is no earn-out structure because the leadership team have a stake in the business. However, they will have options to exchange further shares for Miroma stock and have signed four-year contracts.
Miroma is run by Marc Boyan and consists of seven agencies covering media, PR, content, influencer marketing and TV production. Clients include eBay, L’Oréal, LVMH and McDonald’s.
The company said that the deal means it will now have revenues of more than $200m, offices in 11 countries and more than 350 employees globally.
Fold7 and Hyperactive’s revenues make up around 10% of this, with 65 staff.
Nohr told Campaign that talks with Miroma began last year after he and the team began looking for a way to expand Fold7.
He said: "I think the environment has never been more competitive and the dilemma for us was: how do we retain a highly creative and agile business but add scale?
"What if we could still own a chunk of the business, so you have an owner/operator mindset and get the scale, but not so much scale that you are forced to consolidate?"
In his new role, Nohr will be responsible for developing Miroma’s proposition and supporting leaders across its agencies. "This is a collective of entrepreneurs, not the hierarchy of old," he said. "Modern leadership is about liberating and supporting talent. Together, we’re going to achieve things we can’t do on our own to drive client growth."
Around 60% of Fold7’s clients have a global presence, so Nohr believes that access to skills in the Miroma portfolio, as well as the additional offices around the world, will help the agency grow. He explained that media planning and TV production are "very complementary" skills that Fold7 may want to tap into in the future.
Newey added: "This is the start of an exciting new chapter for Fold7. Starting out 25 years ago, creating brands like Ted Baker and Muji, then pivoting from brand creation to become a modern advertising agency with clients like Carlsberg, I’ve always believed in staying fresh and relevant.
"As well as their international reach, Miroma has real depth in a range of complementary skills. This deal creates new opportunities for Fold7, its people and for clients to prosper in an ever-changing market."