Essence acquired by WPP
Creating a stronger market leader, with global reach and infrastructure.
London, 4 November 2015 - GP Bullhound, the technology investment bank, acted as financial adviser to Essence, the global digital agency and the world’s largest independent buyer of digital media, on its sale to WPP plc.

Founded in 2005 in London, with offices in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore and Tokyo, Essence employs more than 500 people and deploys campaigns in more than 70 markets, managing media spend of over US$ 700 million. The agency blends data science, objective media, and captivating experiences to build valuable connections between brands and consumers. Current clients in Essence’s rapidly diversifying client base include Financial Times, Google, HP, Viber and Tesco Mobile.

WPP’s GroupM, the leading global media investment group, will add Essence to its portfolio, creating a combination of two market leaders. Essence will continue to operate as an independent global brand, but with access to GroupM’s global reach and infrastructure.

“Essence has a proud history of using technology, data and transparent media buying to advance the digital advertising industry. We’re proud to work with some of the world’s most advanced clients.” said Christian Juhl, CEO of Essence. He continues: “GP Bullhound has worked with Essence for four years now and has done a tremendous job advising Essence through this transaction. Its expertise and relationships in the sector have proven invaluable in delivering a great outcome.”

Simon Nicholls, Partner of GP Bullhound commented: “We are proud to have advised Essence, a true global category leader and innovator in the digital and programmatic media arena. This is one of the most significant digital agency deals in the last few years. The transaction underlines the ongoing shift in digital media towards a world where digital leads and all media is traded programmatically and we expect to see more transactions in this sector in the year ahead.”

This represents the completion of GP Bullhound’s 24th transaction in 2015 and further underlines the firm’s depth of experience in digital marketing and media, following the recent deals completed in the sector for clients such as Designit, Seren, Glispa, TLGG, Fetch, Great Fridays, Realise, and Fjord.

For enquiries, please contact Simon Nicholls at [email protected] or Alec Dafferner at [email protected]

About GP Bullhound
As dealmakers in technology, GP Bullhound provides independent strategic advice on mergers and acquisitions and private placements to entrepreneurs, companies and investors. By combining a true passion for innovation with great access to global buyers and capital across Europe, US and Asia, GP Bullhound has completed transactions with many category leaders including Avito, Delivery Hero, Fjord,, Pingdom, Pozitron and Spotify. The firm was founded in London in 1999 and today also has offices in San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin and Manchester. For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter @GPBullhound

About Essence

Essence is a global digital agency that blends data science, objective media and captivating experiences to build valuable connections between brands and consumers. Clients include Google, Viber, method, Tesco Mobile and the Financial Times. The agency is more than 500 people strong, manages over $700MM in media spend and deploys campaigns in 71 markets via offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore and Tokyo. Visit essencedigital.comfor more information and follow on Twitter @essencedigital.

About WPP
WPP is one of the world’s largest communications services groups employing 188,000 people working in over 3,000 offices in 111 countries. Its portfolio of services includes advertising, media investment management, public relations, public affairs, healthcare communications, specialist communications, branding and identity services, and much more. For more information, please visit

Manish Madhvani, Managing Partner at GP Bullhound, discuss emerging tech trends within the European startup ecosystem Manish Madhvani on Bloomberg