Havas Group enters Digital Consultancy through Gate One

Integrated global advertising group Havas Group has acquired one of the UK’s leading independent management consultancies, Gate One.

The move adds significant new capabilities and reach to Havas’ UK operation which already comprises 10 businesses spanning the marketing services spectrum.

At a time when creative agencies and groups around the world are looking to respond to consolidation across the large management consultancies, the move represents a significant strengthening of Havas’ UK and international capability.

Gate One’s core mission is to deliver meaningful and sustainable change, working in close collaboration with its clients to conceive the big ideas that will transform their business. The firm works directly with C-level executives from groups including 20 FTSE companies across life sciences, retail, and travel and tourism, as well as several UK government departments.

Yannick Bollore, CEO & Chairman Havas Group commented: “Investing in the consultancy space is a bold move that has the potential to unlock huge growth for our Group in the UK and beyond. Meaningfulness is at the core of everything we do at Havas so it is really exciting to find a business like Gate One which truly speaks our language. I’d like to welcome the team on board.”

Gate One will relocate its team of 70+ digital and business transformation specialists to the Havas Kings Cross Village in London in early 2020. The agency will retain both its established name and leadership team and add its clients to HKX’s growing roster of leading brands.

“New leadership, the power of our Village model and our partnership with Vivendi have transformed our UK business over the past three years,” says Chris Hirst, UK Group and Global CEO, Havas Creative network. “We have been searching for the right kind of business that can bring something completely new. Gate One are a best in class business that will add significant new capabilities and strengthen those we already have. We are delighted they have chosen to join us. As clients are increasingly looking for integrated services, the addition of Gate One to our well-established village model makes our UK offering truly unique.”

Tim Phillips, CEO of Gate One commented: “The shareholders are delighted with the outcome of this process, which pretty much satisfies the strategic objectives that we set at the outset, much of which is due to the talent experience and professionalism of the Arrowpoint Advisory team. It has been a pleasure to work with them over this period and as a group of shareholders we have all learnt a huge amount.”

Will Evans at Arrowpoint Advisory, who advised Gate One on the sale, concluded: “Havas recognised the huge benefit to clients in being able to leverage the capabilities of one of the UK’s most successful implementation-focused digital transformation consultancies as part of its rich creative and advisory offering to clients. The deal is further evidence of the blurring of the edges between the creative and management consulting industries as clients wrestle with the challenges and opportunities involved in embracing digital.”

Contact the deal team