Innocean Worldwide buys U.S. ad agency David and Goliath

SEOUL, Innocean Worldwide Inc., a major South Korean advertising agency, said Thursday that it has acquired David and Goliath, a U.S. creative agency that includes Universal Studios among its clients, in its latest step toward expanding its business in the world's largest advertising market.

Innocean said it "gains 100 percent shares in D and G" in a deal worth 78.3 billion won (US$71.6 million).

The cash deal -- half of which is set to be finalized on Jan. 2 and the rest is to be paid over the next four years -- is the first merger or acquisition since Innocean's initial public offering in 2015.

"The acquisition of D and G will be an opportunity for Innocean to further upgrade its global creative expertise," Innocean global CEO Ahn Kun-hee said in comments provided by the company.

He has also vowed to pursue active overseas mergers and acquisitions and persistent investments but did not elaborate on what they might be.

D and G CEO David Angelo also said, "We can immediately offer our clients additional resources and global solutions across new disciplines, with greater efficiency," and noted that D and G now has the backing of Innocean.

D and G is the creative agency for major U.S. brands such as HBO, America's largest premium cable network known for the popular series "Game of Thrones," and Jack in the Box, a quick service restaurant chain. D and G has also been agency of Kia Motors America for the past 18 years.

Innocean is one of South Korea's leading advertising agencies and has business ties with Hyundai Motor Group, whose flagship units include Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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