Menu People


sold to


November 2015


About the Client

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.

About the Deal

GP Bullhound 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.
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.
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.


“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 have worked with Essence for four years now and have done a tremendous job advising Essence through this transaction. Their 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 of 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.”