LONDON — Swiss consulting and communications group Farner International has expanded into the UK with the acquisition of London reputation management agency Lansons.

The move gives “Team Farner” a flagship UK shop in Lansons, which in 2022 registered nearly $16.2 million in revenue and an 88-person staff, according to PRovoke Media’s Global Agency Rankings. Lansons also has an office in New York.

The addition of Lansons brings to 17 the number of agencies Farner has across Europe — with plans to acquire more. Farner reported fee income of almost $87m in 2022, following an acquisition spree that has seen it snap up agencies in its native Switzerland and the wider DACH region. 

Lansons, meantime, gets the expanded international capabilities that come with being part of a group — as well as the financial resources to pursue growth through acquisitions of its own, said executive chair Tony Langham, who co-founded the agency with Clare Parsons in 1989.

CEO Gordon Tempest-Hay said the goal of the company’s growth strategy is to become a top 10 UK agency within three years. Lansons’ name, leadership team and headcount will remain intact.

“It’s a growth story,” Tempest-Hay said. “This is about where we are now to really expanding.”

Before being purchased, Lansons was 100% employee owned. Langham and Parsons had a combined 13% stake in the business at the point of acquisition, with 33 other members of the team also owning stakes. 

Lansons’ senior leadership team (Langham, Tempest-Hay, and managing directors Laura Hastings, Rebecca Mayo and Stuart Graham, pictured) remain equity partners. Six other senior leaders will reinvest in Farner as well.

The acquisition comes as Lansons continues to focus on its transformation and succession planning. Tempest-Hay joined in January 2022 followed by a series of other strategic hires over the last 18 months including the agency’s first executive creative director, a head of research and insight and appointments to boost its social and digital capabilities.

It also comes roughly eight months after Farner expanded into Germany through acquisitions. In February, the group bought 100% of both strategic communications consultancy Kirchhoff Consult, which has around 60 employees in Hamburg, and 90-strong creative and consulting firm Komm.passion, based in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Berlin, for an undisclosed sum.

The ongoing expansion program is supported by private investment firm Waterland, which recently bought a majority stake in data and insight, broadcast and virtual events and live streaming group Markettiers4DC.

With Lansons, Farner has 17 partner agencies and more than 700 employees across Europe in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Brussels and now the UK.