WME Buys Minority Stake In Ad Agency Droga5
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NEW YORK and BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – JULY 11, 2013 – Industry-leading global creative agency Droga5 today announced that William Morris Endeavor (WME), one of the world’s preeminent entertainment companies, will acquire a minority stake in the agency.
“Droga5 has always endeavored to be the most influential creative agency in the business, with ideas that move our clients and our industry forward,” said David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman, Droga5. “This partnership will exponentially accelerate our ability to realize that ambition.”
This investment will grant Droga5 unique access to WME’s unrivaled resources and relationships across the global entertainment industry, as well as its growing portfolio of assets in the technology, media and marketing sectors.
“WME continually seeks partners who will provide our clients with unparalleled access and resources,” said WME co-CEOs Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel. “Droga5 is best-in-class across the board—from its management to its creative output. Through this investment, we will be able to join the best artists and storytellers from all verticals, and we look forward to creating new opportunities for our collective clients.”
WME has an unparalleled global client base, representing many of the world’s most prominent artists, performers and content creators. In recent years, WME, backed by Silicon Valley private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, has made strategic investments in companies across the digital media landscape, including the interactive advertising, social media, social gaming and online retail sectors.
Founded in New York in 2006, Droga5’s clients include The Coca-Cola Company, American Express, Mondelez International, Motorola, Prudential, PUMA, Spotify and UNICEF. In 2013, Droga5 was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, and was also Adweek’s 2012 U.S. Agency of the Year, Creativity’s U.S. Agency of the Year in both 2007 and 2011 and an Advertising Age A-List Agency for the past three years in a row.
In 2012, Droga5 launched DE-DE, a standalone product development studio that blends the best of software (engineering, design, data) and the best of storytelling (narrative, branding, distribution) to build expertly crafted platforms and businesses. DE-DE’s first product, Thunderclap, won an inaugural Innovation Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and was deemed “the future of social empowerment” by Forbes.
The management of Droga5’s agency operations will not change. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Droga5 was advised by Kirkland & Ellis LLP in the U.S. and Clayton Utz in Australia.
WME was advised by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in the U.S. and Corrs Chamber Westgarth in Australia.