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AGENCY NEWS: Today Bollington, tomorrow the world! IAS announces global ambitions

Cheshire-based IAS B2B Communications has taken its first step towards its avowed intention of becoming ‘the world’s biggest B2B agency’, announcing the acquisition of Parisian counterpart Aastroem Munier BBN.

IAS MD Rob Morrice describes the acquisition of the ten-strong Paris agency as a “no brainer”, and the start of an expansion programme that will see it establish an office all of the world’s major markets. Significantly, Tom Stein, MD of New York-based Stein Associates and US B2B trade body the Business Marketing Association (BMA), was in attendance at the formal announcement of the merger, which took place at the British Embassy in Paris on March 28th.

Twenty year old Munier Communications has long had close ties with IAS, both being part of BBN (Business Brands Network), a 20-strong affiliated association of B2B specialist agencies around the world. Agency principal Stéphane Munier will continue to run the Paris office as before – he has exchanged ownership for shares in IAS’s new holding company MSQ Partners (formerly known as Media Square Group).

IAS is understood to be in discussions to merge with another of MSQ’s B2B specialist subsidiaries, and where appropriate merger opportunities are not available, expects to launch satellite operations where necessary. 

The acquisition takes the number of staff at IAS to 70 in total. The agency came top of B2B Marketing’s 2011 Agencies League Table, and was also successful at the BMA’s B2 Awards in Chicago in 2011. Its client include Atos, TalkTalk Business, Sage and Michelin.