Cheil Worldwide has reached a deal to buy an unspecified stake in Iris Worldwide, a London-based international agency network with clients including Samsung, Shell, Adidas, Barclaycard and Domino’s. While Iris joins Cheil in a strategic partnership, both will continue to operate as separate entities for the time being.
Although both companies have declined to reveal terms of the deal, Cheil has made a significant initial investment, with the potential to acquire the business in its entirety within the next five years. Iris’ partnership with US media company Merideth – which has held a 15-25 percent stake since 2011 – will now come to a close as a result of this new acquisition.
“Our goal was to find the right partner who could match our determination and drive,” says Daiki Lim, President and Chief Executive, Cheil Worldwide. “We’ve watched with awe how Iris has built its global business and we are delighted to have this opportunity to work with their brand.”
Ian Millner, Iris’ joint Chief Executive adds, “We’re about to enter the most exciting chapter for Iris. The partnership won’t change who we are or what we do as a creative innovation network – but will extend our global reach and capabilities, and enable our clients and people to benefit from the huge opportunity presented by a true ‘East meets West’ and ‘West meets East’ network.”
Cheil Worldwide currently employs 5,000 staff in 48 offices and eight affiliate offices. Iris Worldwide has more than 1,000 employees across 17 offices worldwide.