Havas has acquired 51% of London digital agency Work Club.
The agency will become Havas Work Club and will be part of the Havas Worldwide UK Group reporting to Kate Robertson, chairman of the Havas Worldwide Group in the U.K.
Patrick Griffith, CEO of Work Club, said of the decision to join Havas, "A lot of it is gut feel -- it's a good cultural fit. Havas has a challenger perspective and they didn't come at us with an agency approach; they have a compelling digital-centric vision. We're not walking into a lot of incumbent digital stuff because it's all integrated."
Work Club will also report directly to Andrew Benett, Havas Worldwide global CEO, on global clients. The agencies share Pernod Ricard internationally, and Havas Work Club offices are expected to open in Shanghai, Japan and Africa by the end of this year.
Mr. Griffith added, "This is an opportunity to create something real. We never wanted to be a London hotshop and we always talked about creating a digital global network."
Work Club was founded in 2007 by Martin Brooks, Jon Claydon, Andy Sandoz and Paddy Griffith. Ben Mooge and Lisa De Bonis also joined as partners in the same year. The agency now has 100 staff and revenues of $10 million, with clients including Pernod Ricard, Walmart/Asda, Coca-Cola, Iglo, Sony and Heineken.
The partners have signed a six-year deal with Havas, with an option to sell the remaining 49% of Work Club shares in four years, although that can be pushed back another ten years, Mr. Griffith said. "Havas is getting a deep and wide team with loads of travel left in us," he added.