Advertising agency McKinney, which in 2008 acquired the firm from French ownership in a deal led by management, is now owned by another international firm.
Cheil Worldwide, which is based in South Korea, said Tuesday in had acquired McKinney.
McKinney management will remain in place and the name will be retained, the companies said.
The deal was worth some $50 million, according to AdAge.
McKinney is based in the American Tobacco Historic District and works with such firms as Nationwide, Ruby Tuesday and GNC.
Cheil wants to expand its own international reach in the Americas, the Seoul-based firm said.
Buz Sawyer, chief executive officer of Cheil Americas, said the new owners “will provide McKinney the rocket fuel to take their business to the next level.”
CEO Brad Brinegar will continue to lead McKinney.
“Cheil Worldwide is becoming a global integrated marketing communications network made up of the best local ad agencies in the world,” said Cheil Worldwide CEO Nack-Hoi Kim in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with McKinney, one of the world’s most creative and effective integrated ad agencies, to offer a significantly strengthened network of services to existing clients and to win new clients in the world’s largest ad market. With a shared passion for integrated ideas that move the needle for clients’ business, I’m confident McKinney will drive Cheil’s success worldwide.”
Brinegar said the deal would speed up McKinney growth.
“After four years of charting our own course and producing unprecedented results for our clients, we couldn’t pass up this golden opportunity to be better, bigger, faster,” Brinegar said in a statement. “Cheil’s enthusiasm for McKinney’s independent spirit and the opportunity to help write the future of the global network sealed the deal. Though we’re from different parts of the world, we share the language of success — ‘tuhon,’ the relentless drive to achieve extraordinary results despite all obstacles.”
McKinney becomes part of Cheil Americas, a regional network of agency partners led by CEO Buz Sawyer. McKinney will join Cheil USA, Cheil Canada, Cheil Mexico, Cheil Central America, Cheil Brazil and The Barbarian Group to help brands add value to people’s lives with ideas that move seamlessly across channels.
Added Sawyer: “I’ve found a soul mate in Brad Brinegar, and McKinney is the ideal strategic partner to reinvent Cheil’s network in the Americas and beyond. Together, we will take a fresh approach to growing an agency network, with an ‘open-source’ model based on partnership, collaboration and a shared vision for growth.”