LBi and Bigmouthmedia to merge in supposed $150 million deal

LBi International, the global marketing and technology agency, is to merge with SEO and Internet marketing specialist bigmouthmedia, creating “Europe’s largest digital agency”.

The deal is deal worth around £100m (roughly $150 million), reports Econsultancy, with the two companies combining “to offer clients digital marketing, consulting and technology services wherever they operate, all under one roof.”

Bigmouthmedia brings cash to the table, following an EU40m private placement to The Carlyle Group, Cyrte and Janivo. Having attracted this investment, bigmouthmedia and the EU40m were packaged into a holding company called Obtineo. And Obtineo today merged with LBi.

The merger is effectively a reverse takeover of bigmouthmedia by LBi, which will remain the dominant shareholder with a 51% stake in the enlarged company.

The investors in Obtineo will own 24% of the new firm, with the former Bigmouthmedia shareholders retaining 25%.

Bigmouthmedia’s CEO Mark Bole is quoted on the company’s blog:

“For the past 18 months both bigmouthmedia and LBi have seen a real shift in client sentiment in regards to agencies: clients are increasingly looking for best in class agencies with the capability to cover all aspects of the digital universe – integrating search and digital media with creative and technology supported by strong transparent measurement – and the combined expertise of both companies will put us in a strong position to meet this demand.”

While LBi CEO Luke Taylor chimes in:

“This is a transformational deal in a growing market. It solidifies our position as the European leader and enables us to strengthen our reach in the US, Asia and MENA. We are now well placed to take advantage of the irreversible spending shift to online channels.”

A full breakdown of the financials can be found here.

LBi recently acquired Danish digital agency TRIPLE Copenhagen – see TCE coverage.