June 20, 2019 / 9:26 AM / 6 months ago

Vivendi's Havas buys U.S. advertising company Battery

FILE PHOTO - Yannick Bollore, Chairman of the Supervisory board of media group Vivendi, attends the company's shareholders meeting in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - French advertising firm Havas, part of media group Vivendi, has agreed to buy Battery, a fast-growing U.S. ad company whose clients include Netflix.

The acquisition of Los Angeles-based Battery, which has revenues of around $10 million, will boost Havas’ presence in the United States and allow it to tap into the lucrative and growing sectors of video gaming and streamed entertainment shows.

Battery was co-founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Anson Sowby and Philip Khosid. It will be absorbed into Havas’ Annex network of advertising and media divisions, with Sowby staying on as chief executive and leading a team of more than 50 employees.

“Convergence of advertising, entertainment, music and gaming remains a priority of Havas and Vivendi, and the Annex is a main part of our evolution,” said Havas Group chairman and CEO Yannick Bollore.

Battery advertising agency has won several industry awards for its “Netflix Is A Joke” ad campaign. The campaign, unveiled in late 2017, featured short appearances from celebrity comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres. It won prizes at the Cannes Lion and D&AD advertising industry awards.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Alexander Smith and Jane Merriman

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