Special Ops Media Sold to LBI: Interactive M&A Still Hot

Acquisitions of creative agencies continue. This morning, LBI purchased Special Ops Media for up to $45M. Special Ops, a DUMBO Manhattan-based firm started by friends from Brown University, has found great success working with top-tier entertainment brands. However, the most valuable asset is its creative talent; an increasingly scarce resource in a high-demand market.

Acquisitions of creative talent have been occurring at a frantic pace, though the deals have largely flown under-the-radar. Validating that the time is right to sell, a survey of buyers in 2007 showed 83% believing the time to buy for deal-makers in interactive is now. For LBI, a UK-based firm looking for a stronger foothold in NYC and LA, the deal looks like a good one.

As described in a 2005 New York Times article on creative agencies:

“There’s a hole in the New York market, where there are either small guys or big guys, not a lot in between…New York needs another agency like it needs another restaurant. But I think there’s a hole there and we’re going to try to fill it.”

Seems the sentiment in 2008 is largely the same as it was in 2005.

Congrats to the Special Ops Management team who have guided the firm through its growth and a big thank-you to Jesse Resnick, the Creative Director at Special Ops for the tip


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