SAO PAOLO—Brazilian digital and social media firm Espalhe is to join MSLGroup after Publicis Groupe acquired a majority stake in the agency.

Founded in 2003, Espalhe, which means 'spread' in Portuguese, employs more than 90 staff across its offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The deal marks MSLGroup's 12th acquisition since the firm was formed in 2009.

The agency will be renamed to Espalhe MSLGroup, retaining its current management of Gustavo Fortes, Cleber Martins, Roberta Paixão and Patrícia Albuquerque.

Fortes, who is managing director, will report to MSLGroup Latin America chairman Paulo Andreoli and, along with Martins and Paixão, will join the MSLGroup Brazil management board. MSLGroup's Brazilian operations now include more than 150 consultants across Espalhe and Andreoli.

The operations of each agency will remain independent as distinct business units, but will work collaboratively in certain areas including business strategy, tools, training and other MSLGroup global initiatives.  

Espalhe has seen double-digit organic growth in each of the past five years. Key agency clients include both prominent Brazilian brands such as the Guaraná Antarctica and Ambev Corporate, as well as international brands including Fiat/Chrysler, Halls, Activia and Adidas.

"The team at Espalhe MSLGroup and their creative approach represents the future of brand marketing," said Andreoli. "From contributing their unique perspective to MSLGroup's capability development globally, to supporting clients in Brazil and Latin America, there exists great potential to work together in the coming months and years."