MSQ has acquired Elmwood and will merge it with its own design agency, Holmes & Marchant.
The merger will see Elmwood's 100 staff brought over to the newly combined organisation, with no job losses.
MSQ said the merged entity would allow it to deliver more comprehensive branded experiences across different media platforms. The fusion of the two agencies will also allow broader access to marketing group MSQ’s broader capability set.
Operating globally under Elmwood’s brand, Paul Galesloot will be chief executive officer of the enlarged agency and report into global CEO of MSQ, Peter Reid.
Elmwood will build on skills in consumer, global healthcare, and corporate design, having worked with clients such as GSK, Heineken, and Mars.
Meanwhile, Holmes & Marchant will build on customer and corporate design skills, as well as digital capabilities, with clients such as Walmart, Kimberly Clark, and Unilever.
Both agencies operate globally, and Elmwood will build on its London and New York bases, with Holmes & Marchant focused on Singapore and Shanghai.
Galeshoot said: “The demand for content is outpacing supply. Brands truly need to stand out in a crowded marketplace. By combining forces, we’ve created a new agency model to help companies meet this demand and ensure their branded experiences are consistent and strategic across all channels.
“We have a solid platform of existing clients to further build this proposition and capitalise on cross-pollination opportunities for Elmwood and more broadly for MSQ.”
Reid added: “Many global design agencies have strengths in particular geographies but not truly globally. The same has been true in the past of both Holmes & Marchant and Elmwood. What this acquisition does is bring together a marriage of equals to create a global design powerhouse.”
MSQ was supported in the deal by private equity owner LDC.