TBWA Acquires a Majority Share in Independent London Agency Lucky Generals

Deal will create a new TBWA U.K. group

L to R: Andy Nairn, Helen Calcraft and Danny Brooke-Taylor
Alan Howard Butterworth

TBWA Worldwide has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in independent, London-based creative agency Lucky Generals.

The Omnicom network will now create a TBWA U.K. division consisting of TBWA\London and Lucky Generals’ headquarters. As part of the deal, the latter agency’s principals Helen Calcraft, Andy Nairn and Danny Brooke-Taylor will retain their positions along with “a significant minority share” in the business they founded together more than three years ago.

Troy Ruhanen

The two entities will remain separate in keeping with TBWA’s plans to extend its global network of “connected, yet distinct, agencies.” In the press release, the agency compares its U.K. strategy to the 2014 acquisition of Heimat, which coincided with the launch of TBWA Operating Group Germany.

“Lucky Generals’ vision … is completely aligned with our own: a radically open creative collective,” says TBWA Worldwide president and CEO Troy Ruhanen in a statement. “What Helen, Andy, Danny and their teams have built in a short period of time is remarkable. I cannot think of a better addition to the family.”

“We have been fortunate enough to have had conversations with many international groups, but Omnicom and TBWA Worldwide were the only ones to understand our desire for autonomy—perhaps because entrepreneurialism, disruption and creativity are hardwired into their DNA,” added Lucky Generals founding partner Calcraft. “This deal will allow us to preserve our unique culture, build our brand and grow. Most important, with the support of Omnicom and TBWA, we will be able to better deliver on our clients’ needs in the UK and around the globe.”

Last month, several trade publications reported that the two parties had entered talks regarding a potential deal with the same parameters announced today.

Details including TBWA’s specific stake in Lucky Generals and the amount of money and/or equity that changed hands have not been revealed at this time. A TBWA spokesperson has not responded to a request for more details.

Lucky Generals, which describes itself as “a creative company for people on a mission,” currently counts Amazon, Paddy Power, Unilever and Pot Noodle among its clients. The shop employs less than 50 people, and neither agency has hinted at any staffing changes related to the acquisition.