MDC acquires 60% stake in Anomaly

MDC Partners has acquired a 60% stake in Anomaly, a multi-discipline agency with offices in New York and London. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MDC Partners has acquired a 60% stake in Anomaly, a multi-discipline agency with offices in New York and London. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Speaking with Marketing this afternoon, MDC chairman and CEO Miles Nadal said he was attracted to the agency by both its “brilliant work” and an “extraordinary trajectory” in forging relationships with multinational brands.

Established in 2004, Anomaly counts Umbro, Budweiser, Sony, P&G, Pepsi and Nike’s Converse brand among its clients.

Nadal also praised the agency’s entrepreneurial spirit, global ambitions and what he described as an ability to make brands famous while simultaneously driving financial results.

He said that the investment in Anomaly, combined with a December investment in L.A. agency 72 and Sunny, brings two more “stellar, iconic agencies” into the MDC fold. “They are probably two of the most dynamic firms in the world right now,” he said.

He said that MDC’s creative agency roster, which also includes Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners and Skinny, is ample proof of the company slogan “Where great talent lives.”

“We probably have the best creative and strategic firepower, pound for pound, in the industry,” he said, noting that MDC agencies had a combined six commercials in Sunday’s Super Bowl telecast. “It’s not an anomaly that we partnered with Anomaly.”

Nadal said that MDC has been in “active dialogue” with Anomaly for the past six years, but conversations towards a potential partnership really heated up in the past 36 months.

A release said the MDC investment would fuel Anomaly’s growth in key areas including talent, global expansion and continued innovation in what was described as “the intersection of technology, media and brands.” The agency’s growth strategy calls for the establishment of offices in markets including Brazil, China and mainland Europe.

Anomaly founder Carl Johnson said the MDC investment will enable the agency to be “fueled,” but not “controlled,” by a major holding company.

Placing 24th on a list of the world’s top 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company magazine in 2008, Anomaly has developed a reputation as one of the industry’s hottest shops.

Last year, it won a Grand Prix in the outdoor category at the 2010 International Advertising Festival in Cannes for its “Be Stupid” campaign on behalf of fashion brand Diesel.

MDC embarked on a growth-by-acquisition strategy in late 2009 and last year spent $125 million in a series of acquisitions that also included Toronto’s Capital C and Canadian B2B specialists Kenna. The company will invest an equal amount this year if it can find great companies to partner with, said Nadal.

“There are a number of disciplines that we’re looking at,” he said. “We’re looking at data analytics, data mining and consumer insights, we’re looking at digital, we’re looking at social media, experiential marketing–all of those things.”

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