William Morris Endeavor pays reported $225m for Droga5 stake

By Brendan Coyne | 12 July 2013
Droga5 creative chairman, David Droga

UPDATED: Beverly Hills-based entertainment firm William Morris Endeavor has bought a minority stake in Droga5. Terms were not disclosed but it has been reported by the New York Times that the firm paid USD $225 million for a 49% stake. However, other outlets have reported lower figures.

Founded by David Droga in 2006, the firm counts Coca-Cola, Motorola, Puma, Spotify and Unicef, Kraft Foods Group, Woolworths, Hennessy, Unilever, Qantas and the United Nations amongst its client roster.

Droga is one of the world’s most decorated creatives. He has long called for advertising to step beyond marcomms and into the heart of business processes. He has walked the walk, winning a Cannes Titanium for a project (the Million) that incentivised New York students to study harder by giving them mobile phone credit. Later his agency landed another Titanium after building an interactive game to launch Jay-Z's autobiography, placing each page around New York for fans to find using Bing maps.

Last month Droga's spin-out design-development company, De-De, won an Innovation Lion at Cannes. Droga said then that he believed the category - which rewarded firms for lasting products, not "disposable" campaigns - would become the biggest at the festival of creativity.

Droga has previously stated he is no fan of mergers and acquisitions. But given that WME advises consumer brands to create entertainment-based marketing solutions and has a significant reach into some of the world's biggest talent - and given Droga5's previous with the likes of Beyonce and Jay-Z - the move makes sense.

“Droga5 has always endeavoured to be the most influential creative agency in the business, with ideas that move our clients and our industry forward,” said David Droga, founder and creative chairman, Droga5. “This partnership will exponentially accelerate our ability to realise that ambition.”

“WME continually seeks partners who will provide our clients with unparalleled access and resources,” said WME co-CEOs Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel. “Droga5 is best-in-class across the board—from its management to its creative output. Through this investment, we will be able to join the best artists and storytellers from all verticals, and we look forward to creating new opportunities for our collective clients.”

The management of Droga5’s agency operations will not change.

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