South Korean advertising network Cheil Worldwide has signed a deal to acquire a significant piece Iris Worldwide, with a view to increasing its stake to 100% over the next five years.
Iris, a London-based agency network, works with clients from Shell to Adidas, Samsung, Reckitt Benckiser, Barclaycard, Domino's and Diageo.
Cheil’s initial investment was not disclosed, but the company said it was significant and could potentially rise to 100% of the business over the next five years.
Cheil, an agency launched by the founder of Samsung, Lee Byung-chul, is now ranked among the world’s top marketing agencies with 48 offices and eight affiliates in 41 countries globally.
Over the past 16 years, Iris has grown into a 1,000-strong global organisation, with 17 offices around the world including Brazil, Australia, Mexico, North America, China, Germany, Netherlands, India, Indonesia, UAE and Singapore.
Daiki Lim, president and CEO of Cheil Worldwide, said the plan was to find the right partner who could match Cheil's determination and drive.
"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. Their membership in the Cheil Worldwide network will bring great value and agility to us and to our clients," Lim said via a statement.