Waypoint Partners are delighted to have supported Elmwood on their merger with Holmes & Marchant.

Originally founded in 1977, for many years Elmwood has been a central part of the design establishment. Although design was once a headline-grabbing sector this hasn’t been the case in recent years, pushed aside by digital, data and performance marketing. However, in our disintermediated world, design is once again playing a central role brands engaging with their audiences and is totally fundamental to the direct-to-consumer world.  A fragmented media world with complex routes to market means brand and design need to work harder than ever for businesses to stand apart. This is also translating in M&A where progressive, future-looking groups recognise this centrality and are integrating these skills in ever smarter ways.

The merger of Elmwood and Holmes & Marchant, owned by MSQ, is emblematic of this with the different bits of the jigsaw fitting together seamlessly. Elmwood’s power bases lie in London and New York, whilst for the last decade Holmes & Marchant has single-mindedly focused on deploying its firepower to build an incredibly successful operation in China and Singapore. The merger creates an instant global proposition with genuine strength in depth in the world’s key design hubs.  Combining these geographies with the wider digital and data capabilities of MSQ that clients demand are integrated into modern design delivers one the best strategic fits in marketing services deal-making for a long time.

In Waypoint Elmwood found a strategic M&A partner who understood our ambition to build on Elmwood’s momentum of the past few years and seize the opportunities for tier one design in a content rich world fueled by digital disruption.  Waypoints insight into the fit between us and a prospective buyer informed by deep knowledge of the emerging forces in the contemporary marketing services space underpinned a rigorous review process that led us to MSQ and a deal that satisfied exiting sellers and ongoing management alike.

Steve Gatfield, Group Chairman, Elmwood