Essence acquired Black Bag Advertising
Transforming from a major player in digital media to an international category leader.
London, September 2012 - GP Bullhound, the technology investment bank, has acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Essence Digital Limited (“Essence”), Europe’s leading independent digital media agency, on its acquisition of Black Bag Advertising Inc (“Black Bag”).

Essence Digital is a digital agency based in London and New York, with clients across Europe, North America, and beyond. It is the digital agency of record for sophisticated clients such as Google, eBay, and Expedia, clients that are at the leading edge of the digital marketplace. It is their unique challenges that inspire Essence Digital to go beyond traditional marketing approaches, mixing cutting-edge technology (often their own) with shrewd business brains and inventive creativity.

GP Bullhound is advising Essence on its acquisition strategy on both sides of the Atlantic and this transaction follows Essence’s successful acquisition of Punktilio, a leading UK social media agency, last year.

With the acquisition of Black Bag, a specialist digital media agency headquartered in San Francisco, Essence has been able to further extend its capabilities in the United States, adding a valuable presence on the west coast to Essence’s existing office in New York.

Matt Isaacs, CEO of Essence, commented: “Expansion in the US is critical to our growth strategy and establishing a base on the West Coast, through the acquisition of Black Bag Advertising, was the natural next step. GP Bullhound’s expertise and network in the digital marketing sector and its global footprint, with teams in London and San Francisco, made it the perfect fit for the negotiation and execution of this transaction.”

Simon Nicholls, partner at GP Bullhound commented: “GP Bullhound is delighted to have advised on Essence’s acquisition of Black Bag Advertising. Already a major player in the digital media sector in Europe and New York, this expansion to the West Coast will cement Essence’s position as an international category leader.”

GP Bullhound is committed to advising category leaders in the digital arena, of which Essence is a fine example. Essence was recently ranked #1 in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, which ranks Britain’s fastest-growing private technology companies; #1 in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200, which identifies Britain’s private firms with fastest growing overseas sales; #2 in Media Momentum’s Top 20 ‘Larger Digital Companies in Europe’ list; and #5 Media (#1 independent) agency in NMA’s 2012 Top 100.

For enquiries please contact:
Simon Nicholls, Partner, at [email protected]

About GP Bullhound
GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visit, or follow on Twitter @GPBullhound