Maja Pawinska Sims 30 Oct 2018 // 11:13AM GMT
LONDON — Creative communications agency W has taken a majority stake in specialist travel PR consultancy Lotus to build its travel and tourism offering.
Lotus founder and CEO Sarah Johnson, with board directors Jules Ugo and Kate McWilliams, remain with the company, with the aim being to create a full-service travel offering as part of W’s UK and global businesses.
The deal follows W taking a majority stake in jewellery communications agency Facets in December last year, and its acquisition of Glue PR (now W North) in March 2017 and House in 2016. The agency also has a presence in Singapore and Amsterdam.
Lotus will keep its name and continue to trade from its own offices, and the deal will give it access to additional business services and input from the senior W team. W founder and global CEO Warren Johnson will join the board, along with MD Richard Tompkins.
W’s existing travel client base includes Hard Rock Hotel in London, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and Club Med in Asia. Lotus’ client roster includes national tourist boards (Spanish National Tourist Office, Greek National Tourism Organisation), global hotel chains (Palladium Hotel Group), attractions (Efteling) and transport providers (Heathrow Express).
At W, Warren Johnson said: “Sarah, Jules and Kate have built an incredible business with an enviable client roster and enormous potential. The W team and I are looking forward to working to take the business to the next level. It is another demonstration of the intent of our business to seek out acquisitions that enable us to further grow W beyond the confines of organic growth and continue to build out best in class sector expertise.”
Lotus founder Johnson added: “Since our initial meeting with Warren and the W team, the opportunity this partnership presented was clear. W have outstanding creative credentials. Travel is a resilient industry showing growth at a time when many sectors are not; we can’t wait to start this new era.”