Continuing a restless wave of agency acquisitions this year, marketing and communications network W2O Group has acquired Morristown, NJ-based digital marketing shop Sentient Interactive.
Financial terms of the transaction were not publicly disclosed. M&A advisory firm AdMedia Partners acted as Sentient’s financial advisor in the deal.
Sentient specializes in digital marketing, strategy, media management and SEO, as well as web design and development for clients in the healthcare, consumer, financial services and e-commerce sectors. The full-service agency, which staffs more than 50 and maintains a second office in New York, was founded in 2008 by partners Adam Cossman, Jeff Rohwer and Walter Stevenson. Cossman serves as president, while Stevenson is chief operating officer and Rohwer leads strategy.
Sentient plans to maintain its brand identity in light of the acquisition. The agency will also maintain its Morristown office, while its New York team will move into W2O's existing Financial District location.
In addition to maintaining the president title at Sentient, Cossman will now also serve as W2O chief digital officer and will focus on integrating his agency’s digital strategy and assets with W2O's media, engagement and creative services capabilities and proprietary platforms. Stevenson and Rohwer also maintain their Sentient titles while broadening their roles within W2O Group, with Stevenson serving as managing director of digital ops and Rohwer as managing director of digital strategy.
“It’s not every day that you get to combine two companies that are so complementary and who truly make the one-plus-one-equals-three equation a reality,” Cossman told O’Dwyer’s.
W20 this year has been in the midst of an acquisition splurge. The tech-focused independent network, which owns agencies Brewlife, Twist Mktg and WCG, in September acquired Wilmington, NC-based life sciences PR agency Pure Communications and in November bought New Hope, PA-based digital marketing firm Marketeching Solutions.
The growth comes as the result of a March undisclosed investment pact with private equity investment firm Mountaingate Capital. Combined, W2O's three most recent agency buys account for 100 employees and about $25 million in revenue.
The San Francisco-headquartered network said Sentient’s acquisition is part of a larger strategy to build its digital toolkit while widening its East Coast footprint, where W2O now maintains a half-dozen offices.
W2O in 2015 posted $95 million net fees, accounting for 15 percent growth from the year prior.