AMV BBDO will have management responsibility, but the acquisition is split 50/50 between the agency and the network. Ian Young, Irish International's managing director and formerly the major shareholder, will remain in place along with the rest of the existing management.
Financial details were not disclosed, but the purchase is reported to consist of an initial payment of $6.3 million, followed by five additional payments of up to $17.7 million depending on Irish International's profitability over the next five years.
"Ireland is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and is somewhere our multinational clients request our presence," says David Wheldon, London-based president of BBDO Europe. "Irish International meets our criteria of being a strong local agency with a good creative product."
This is BBDO's first investment in Ireland. In the past, it has been associated with various Irish agencies that have handled its clients locally.
Irish International already shares several multinational clients with BBDO: Aer Lingus, Guinness, Renault, Sony and United Distillers.
Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.