MADRID — LLYC, the communications and public affairs agency focused on the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world, has taken a 70% stake in Spanish advertising agency China.

The announcement comes after LLYC, which rebranded from Llorente & Cuenca in 2019, made its debut on BME Growth, the Spanish stock market, on 22 July. Shares in the firm started trading at €9.39, giving it an opening value of €109m, and the firm closed its first day at €12.40 per share.

China’s three founding partners – Marta Aguirrezabal, Rafa Antón and Pedro Calderón – will maintain a stake and will continue to lead the agency, which will operate independently.

The move is the latest stage of LLYC’s plans to double in size over the next five years. It has acquired seven other agencies in the past six years: Impossible Tellers (Spain, 2015), S/A Comunicaçao (Brazil, 2015), EDF (USA, 2015), Arenalia (Spain, 2018), Diplolicy (Spain, 2018), Factor C (Chile, 2020) and Apache (Spain, 2021).

LLYC founding partner and president José Antonio Llorente said: “With China, we strengthen what we offer our clients in line with market demands that increasingly focus more on integrating services and solutions, that include the strategic vision, creativity and smart use of technology.”

At China, founding partner and executive director Aguirrezabal added: “Since founding China 11 years ago, we have had some wonderful experiences. Now with LLYC, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue improving our team and the work we perform for our customers. We could not ask for a better travel partner.”

LLYC now has around 600 employees in 16 offices in Argentina, Brazil (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), the US (Miami, New York and Washington, DC), Mexico, Panama, Peru, Portugal and the Dominican Republic. Its client roster includes Bayer, FC Barcelona, Mercedes Benz, Netflix and Aldi.

In April this year, LLYC bought back the 30% stake bought by private equity firm MBO & Co in 2015, which helped to fuel the agency’s growth.