Digital Agency Rosetta Bulks Up, Acquires Mobile Firm Level Studios

N.J.-Based Shop Adds 215 Employees, $45 Million in Revenue

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NEW YORK ( -- Digital agency Rosetta has inked a deal to acquire California-based mobile shop Level Studios -- just the latest sizzle in a hot year for agency mergers and acquisitions.

The Hamilton, N.J.-based Rosetta is the largest independent digital agency in the country and with the addition of Level gets an injection of revenue and new clients. Rosetta is the last remaining independent digital agency with major scale and, while other agencies have either been acquired or are exploring acquisition, its moves indicate it will bulk up on capabilities.

Said Rosetta CEO Chris Kuenne in a statement: "Level's position on the leading edge of content, platforms and devices and Rosetta's depth and scale in strategy, creative and technology and its expertise in personality segmentation are a powerful combination that enables brands to stay ahead of the curve and transform their marketing."

Level has 215 staffers and three offices in California. The mobile agency booked $25 million in revenue in 2009 -- up more than 40% from the year prior -- and is on track to make $45 million in revenue this year, according to Rosetta. Level's client list includes Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Apple, Toyota and Blackberry-manufacturer Research in Motion. Purchase price and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Level will retain its current management, headed by CEO Tom Adamski, and will operate under the same name at least through 2011.

Counting Level, Rosetta estimates $215 million in 2010 revenue, more than 1,000 employees, and 10 offices in the U.S. and Canada. Rosetta, which is backed by private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg, was No. 9 in Ad Age DataCenter's ranking of all digital agencies by U.S. revenue, with $152 million in 2009.

Rosetta has long been on the hunt for shops to add new competencies. In late 2009 Rosetta bought health-care agency Wishbone ITP, following the 2008 purchase of Ohio-based Brulant.

This deal comes as agencies have been beefing up their mobile capabilities and as another large digital agency player, AKQA, is on the block. Ad Age reported Morgan Stanley is shopping AKQA, which is backed by private equity firm General Atlantic.

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