SapientNitro, part of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE), today announced its acquisition of 81-percent of iThink, a leading independent digital agency in Brazil, led by Marcelo Tripoli. Tripoli was cited as the most prominent digital professional by Brazil’s top advertisers in a 2011 Advisors Group Digital Scope survey.
The move into Brazil marks the expansion of SapientNitro into the Latin American market, strategically rounding out the agency’s global footprint to include all of the BRIC countries, and expanding its ability to help clients around the world advance in the age of the connected consumer.
Latin America is a strategic and rapidly evolving market for SapientNitro and its clients. Expansion into this region is in response to client demand for SapientNitro’s unique combination of brand, digital and commerce service offerings in the market, particularly as global marketers gear up for Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Sao Paulo-based iThink, founded in 2002, was a digital pioneer and has since grown into one of the largest independent, digital agencies in the country. The agency’s work is noted for its innovative strategies and world-class creative for some of the world’s best-known brands. iThink’s team services a multi-national client base that includes Castrol, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Google, and Samsung.
“As the changing consumer continues to disrupt the way companies and brands interact with their consumers, we see more and more clients looking for better ROI and more innovative experiences around brand, digital and commerce that can be leveraged globally,” said Alan J. Herrick, president and CEO of Sapient. “Our move into Latin America with the addition of iThink as one brand, one culture and one P&L, furthers our role as a new breed of agency unlike any other in both capability and global footprint.”
Already ranked by Ad Age as the largest US agency (#3 worldwide) by digital revenue1, SapientNitro expands its global footprint to 31 cities across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America with the addition of iThink. The move into Sao Paolo also further extends the company’s ability to help clients leverage their digital assets across strategic markets in every part of the world.
“Both SapientNitro and our clients are focused on the importance of the Brazilian market,” said Gaston Legorburu, worldwide chief creative officer of SapientNitro. “But beyond that, the region has a well-deserved reputation as a tremendous source of creativity. Some of the best work in the world is imagined in Brazil, and iThink has been at the forefront. iThink shares our passion for redefining storytelling for an always-on world and is the most recent in a series of great creative additions to SapientNitro as we move toward building a world-class, global creative agency in the age of the connected consumer.”
“In today’s always-on world, brands need to do much more than push out ads,” said Marcelo Tripoli, CEO of iThink. “Our culture has always been about transforming our clients’ businesses by creating engaging interaction between their brands and consumers. In SapientNitro, we found a kindred spirit that recognizes that digital is not just one more outlet, but increasingly the center of a consumer’s behavior. Reaching today’s evolved consumer involves creating multi-dimensional experience spaces that connect to human emotions.”
Pátria Investimentos Ltda. and Blackstone Advisory Partners L.P. acted as the exclusive financial advisors to Sapient in connection with the transaction.