Advising on triple agency merger backed by Waterland Private Equity

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Gateley Legal

We have advised three leading UK creative agencies on their merger to create Further, a new end-to-end creative group backed by Waterland Private Equity and Shawbrook.

Further is the merger of branding agency DesignStudio, motion design studio Analog, and immersive experience pioneers PixelArtworks.

The new entity will be headquartered in London, with additional offices in New York, Sydney and Dubai, and offer a comprehensive suite of services spanning branding, content and immersive experiences for blue-chip, mid-market and government organisations.

Design Studio, co-founded by Paul Stafford and Ben Wright in 2009, is an award winning international branding agency with offices in London, New York and Sydney. It acts for many of the world’s most iconic brands including Airbnb, UEFA Champions League, Deliveroo, Premier League, and Logitech.

Analog, founded in 2006 by Mike Merron, Arvid Niklasson and Matt Chandler, is a creative visual effects and real-time agency whose work has been recognised at major industry awards events including the BAFTAs, Royal Television Society Awards, Global Entertainment Marketing (GEM) Awards and Visual Effects Society Awards (VESA), amongst others.

Established in 2005 by managing director Tom Burch, Pixel Artworks is a leading immersive design and production company with an impressive portfolio which includes working with brands including Nike, Netflix, Paramount Studios and Nissan. The agency is headquartered in London and also has a presence in Dubai.

The founders of all three agencies will remain within the group, with Paul Stafford taking on the role of Group CEO.

Our team advising the founders and management teams of all three independent agencies was led by Manchester corporate partner Leigh Whittaker, supported by associates Victoria Brown and Adam Noble.

Paul Stafford, said: “Analog, DesignStudio and Pixel Artworks are three award-winning agencies, each with a fierce reputation for excellence. By joining forces, we’re amplifying our collective expertise and assembling world-class talent to push creativity further. Our goal from day one is to stay ahead of the curve in delivering innovative solutions for clients, fostering a space where creativity has no limits. We are delighted to be partnering with Waterland, which will help Further transform the way visionary creatives and ambitious brands work together, and that’s incredibly exciting.

“We were all impressed by Leigh and his team at Gateley who provided invaluable expertise and guidance all the way, helping all three of the agencies involved to understand the legal complexities and offering commercial, pragmatic advice whenever it was needed.”

Leigh Whittaker, added: “The creation of Further marks an exciting next step for our clients, and we are pleased to have acted for all three creative agencies on their seamless transition into the new group. Waterland have extensive experience and success in the digital marketing sector with their targeted buy and build strategy to deliver growth, and we look forward to seeing Further go from strength to strength, both in the UK and internationally.”

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