Loveurope acquires Asset and eyes Russian expansion

Simon Nias
Monday, June 13, 2011

Loveurope has bought fellow London-based creative production company Asset Graphics and appointed a new European business director to spearhead the group's push into Russia.

The £10m-turnover global advertising production business acquired Covent Garden-based Asset in an undisclosed all-cash deal, in a bid to strengthen its core production capability.

Asset, which has around 20 staff and a turnover of nearly £2m, will be integrated into Loveurope, giving it a West End production centre to add to its headquarters in Clerkenwell.

Loveurope chief executive Steve Owens said: "Asset is very stong in traditional typesetting and craft-based studio work and they do traditional print advertising support for some pretty big brands.

"Their traditional production capabilities are something we're being asked to do more and more of, so the acquisition will add a bit of scale and resource around that.

"Equally they were offering quite a narrow print-based service to their clients and we think that some of those will be attracted to the additional services that Love provides and Asset doesn't currently have access to."

Asset Graphics' directors David Carter and Neil Essan have both been retained, together with the rest of Asset's 20 employees, and will be given management roles within Loveurope.

Meanwhile, Loveurope has also appointed the former chief executive of Y&R Ukraine, Mikhail Pimenov, as its new European business director.

Pimenov has been working with Loveurope in a consultancy capacity since the start of the year on the start-up of its first Russian office, Love Kiev, which now has 15 staff.

Owens said: "A lot of our European clients are looking to push work into the Russian federation and what we've established with Love Kiev is effectively a gateway into that market.

"We've got 15 people working out there primarily with clients who are marketing in that area, like Intel and HP. What we're now doing is working with brands who want to push work through Kiev into the Russian market.

"Mikhail will promote the business and manage those commercial relationships with the clients and at the same time build and develop the offshore operations that we're using in the Ukraine."

Owens added that the group was already placing some broadcasting and digital content work in Russia. "There's a pretty strong talent pool that's available out there and, as it's non-EU, in terms of pricing it's agressively competitive against the UK market."

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