LLYC has reached an agreement to buy CHINA, the top prize-winning advertising agency at the Eficacia 2020 Awards and the fourth-highest valued agency among clients in Spain, according to the latest study by Scopen. The operation forms part of the consultancy firm’s ambitious growth project, which seeks to double in size over the next five years.

The three founding partners of CHINA (Marta Aguirrezabal, Rafa Antón and Pedro Calderón) will maintain a stake in CHINA – given that LLYC is buying a 70% share – and will continue to run the agency, which will operate independently.

With this acquisition, LLYC is strengthening its commitment to creativity as a key lever for business development alongside technology, just as they are key transformative factors for clients.

Complementary nature

LLYC and CHINA have a highly focused approach to the main challenge being faced by brands today: the need to be more relevant in society through stories that bring added value in leading conversation territories.

With origins that lie in different disciplines, the visions upheld by LLYC and CHINA come into alignment in terms of how they respond to this need for relevance: through creative solutions produced to impeccable standards that engage with society, generate conversation, value and distinctiveness for brands and businesses.

Today, creativity is one of the main priorities for all kinds of organizations, not only in terms of marketing and advertising, but also in terms of other disciplines on which LLYC has been working for many years, such as employee relations or demonstrating a commitment to society, among others.

LLYC has already taken huge strides in this direction over recent years. This takeover of CHINA, with the experience and success already garnered by its team, will help LLYC to promote these creative disciplines quicker in every market where it does business. Meanwhile, thanks to the LLYC network, CHINA will be able to take part in multinational projects or with the most relevant brands in the countries where it operates.

José Antonio Llorente, Founding Partner and Chairman of LLYC, believes that “we are strengthening our offer to clients with CHINA in line with a market demand that is increasingly more focused on service and solution integration, combining strategic vision, creativity and a smart use of technology”.

“Since founding CHINA 11 years ago, we have had some wonderful experiences. Now with LLYC, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue further bolstering our team and the work we perform for our customers. We could not ask for a better travel companion”, comments Marta Aguirrezabal, Founding Partner and Executive Director of CHINA.

Pedro Calderón, Founding Partner and Executive Director of CHINA, believes that “both LLYC and CHINA have been doing serious, constant and consistent work for some time now on transforming realities for the brands and businesses of our clients. By joining forces and talents now, we are sure this will enable us to enhance and strengthen our teams and the work we do. This is a new era that CHINA is looking forward to with great excitement and passion, and with a view to doing more unequalled work of a wider scope”.

“We admire the work CHINA does for brands, its creativity is truly transformative, and they produce results of impeccable quality. I am sure that, together, we will make highly relevant contributions to our clients”, said Luisa García, Partner and CEO of LLYC Europe.

“We always say that curiosity is what really motivates anyone dedicated to creativity. We now begin a new era with some certainties, but also with the pleasant feeling that things will happen that we have no idea of yet. That is always fun”, says Rafa Antón, Founding Partner and Creative and Strategy Director for CHINA.

LLYC has extensive experience in company acquisition and team integration. Since 2015, it has successfully taken over 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 received advice from Scopen and EY for this operation. CHINA was advised by CDI Global Iberia and Ceca Magán Abogados.

LLYC shares have gained 32,06% in their first day of trading. The company shares, which saw their initial listing at a reference price of 9.39 euros per share, closed the session at 12,40 euros, after hitting a high of 14,08 euros during the day. In total 176.115 shares were traded, representing a volumen of 2, 382,610 euros.

LLYC began its stock market listing this morning in the open market format due to its capitalization, the free float and the number of investors that hold share capital in the group which, after the two initial public offerings carried out prior to its market corporation, now exceed 1,520 shareholders.

This morning, LLYC made its debut on BME Growth with an increase of 49.1%. The opening trade was at a price of 14.05 euros per share. The traditional ringing of the bell was performed by its chairman and founder, José Antonio Llorente, accompanied by three partners from the firm who are members of the Board of Directors, Alejandro Romero, Luisa García y Adolfo Corujo.

LLYC shares began to be traded at a reference price of 9.39 euros per share, which means that the firm’s opening value stands at 109 million euros, under the open market format, given its capitalization, the free float and the number of investors that hold share capital in the group, which, after the two initial share offerings made prior to its debut on the market, exceed 1,520 shareholders.

The opening bell was rung in accordance with strict measures due to the health restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and gathered together some 70 people at the Palacio de la Bolsa de Madrid.

During his speech, José Antonio Llorente thanked investors for placing their trust in this project, and thanked the firm’s directors, its professional partners and the team at the group for pushing through and accompanying LLYC in its development to become a mature project to address its listing on the stock market. A milestone which, in the words of the chairman and founder, “justify the capacity for growth and the importance of the strategic communication sector in the economic and social recovery from the pandemic”. In his speech, he also tied in this potential to the opportunities stemming from incorporating exponential technologies and creativity in the traditional portfolio of communication and public affairs services, something which, as he recalled, represent a key driver of LLYC’s current growth plan.

LLYC will allocate the funds raised through its share capital increase to finance part of this business plan, which seeks to double the size of its business over the next four years and achieve turnover of 100 million euros.

José Antonio Llorente also highlighted that the company begins its long-term relationship with the market today and reaffirmed its commitment to best practices in terms of corporate governance. “A stock market listing means a profound exercise in transparency and the need to establish effective corporate governance, two facets that our customers are constantly seeking our advice and help on. What better calling card than your consultancy firm experiencing first-hand the challenges that the two issues represent”, he underlined in his speech prior to the opening bell.

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El toque de campana, que marcará la incorporación LLYC a BME Growth y el inicio de la cotización de las acciones, se celebrará el 22 de julio a las 11:45 horas (España) en el Palacio de la Bolsa de Madrid.

Puedes seguir en directo el evento a través de este enlace, o desde aquí:

LLYC will list on the BME Growth market from July 22, with the ticker symbol LLYC. The Board of Directors of BME Growth today approved the listing on this market having received a favorable report from its Listing and Coordination Committee.

Considering the capitalization, the free float and the number of investors in LLYC, the Supervisory Department of BME Growth has decided that LLYC will be listed continuously from 9 am to 5:30 pm, rather than under the fixing system of two auctions a day, which has predominated in recent stock exchange listinings in this market. For its debut, LLYC has set a reference price of 9.39 euros per share, resulting in an opening capitalization in excess of 109 million euros, as the company announced in the addendum to its Prospectus, which was issued on July 9 following its successful capital increase prior to the market listing.

LLYC has carried out two public share offerings, through which it has raised 10 million euros, which will be used to finance part of its new growth plan. The capital increase was oversubscribed by a factor of 5.1 and allocated to 1,520 investors, among which Spanish family investment vehicles comprised the bulk.

José Antonio Llorente, Chairman and Founder of LLYC, stressed that “We are very excited about the listing of our company on BME Growth and with the welcome the project has received from the market. We thus begin a long-term relationship with the market and are aware that we are subject to its criteria and evaluation. In our share capital increase, investors have very positively rated our positioning in the sector, which represents an unbeatable starting position to harness the opportunities that open up for a communication and public affairs consultancy firm by integrating technology and creativity. Our listing on BME Growth is a key aspect to accompany our future growth”.

LLYC has begun to implement a new growth plan aimed at doubling its turnover over the next four years and achieve the goal of 100 million euros in turnover by year-end 2024. The aim is to consolidate LLYC as an fully-integrated supplier of communication and public affairs consultancy services that offers creativity, marketing and technology, while at the same time bolstering the group’s position as an international leader in its field.

LLYC strengthens its management team with the incorporation of José María de Guzmán as Senior Advisor, along with its vision of growth and consolidation in other sectors by including the new customers that José María de Guzmán will bring to the operation.

Complementary nature of vision and leadership

The arrival of José María de Guzmán will bring his experience and track-record to the firm’s operations in Colombia, as well as his efforts and knowledge according to the value offer LLYC makes to its customers. José María founded 2WAY Goodwill Consulting – the reputation consultancy agency – and has been the chairman of such large companies as Cine Colombia and Álcalis de Colombia, and has held managerial positions at RTI, Banco de Occidente and Banco de la República. In the public sector, he has been the High Commissioner for Communication and High Commissioner for International Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia, and the Colombian Ambassador to Canada.

José María is also an expert in managing companies, the structuring and promotion of businesses, capital markets, securities, negotiations, mergers, marketing, financial analysis and international business – knowledge which he will impart to LLYC’s present and future customers.

For Alejandro Romero, Partner and CEO for the Americas at LLYC, “This type of incorporation reaffirms our aim to grow to the benefit of our customers while always adding a differentiating value”.

“I am delighted to join a company with the track-record and weight of LLYC. I am convinced that its capacity and international network, along with its combination of efforts and knowledge will boost the value offer that has been provided to the firm’s customers to date”, highlights José María de Guzmán.

In turn, for María Esteve, Partner and Managing Director of the Andes Region at LLYC, “Colombia is a key market for our firm. We are very pleased about the impact that the incorporation of José María will have to the benefit of our operation, since, through this incorporation, we will also have the chance to provide a service to more customers by using our capacity and international network to continue strengthening our growth plans in the country”.

It is worth mentioning that, with more than 10 years of experience in the market, the firm headed up by José María de Guzmán2WAY Goodwill Consulting – was characterized by the help it provided to public institutions, companies and brands to establish a good name, mitigate their reputational risks and successfully achieve their goals, based on forging reliable relations. Among the projects undertaken, noteworthy it its accompaniment of the High Commissioner for Peace during the talks in Havana (Cuba), the integration of the telecommunications operations of Millicom and EPM in Tigo-UNE, the tender of the commercial rights of Conmebol for USD $1.4 billion, the expansion of the Maersk Group in Colombia, and the launch of the Colombia Select Index of Standard & Poors, along with advising such organizations as Bavaria, ETB, ANDI and Gasnova, among others.

As part of its growth strategy in Brazil, LLYC announces the addition of Thyago Mathias as its new Managing Director. Cleber Martins, who has managed the operation for the past three years, will now lead the Advisory Board in the country, reinforcing its commercial and positioning strategy in the Brazilian market.

Thyago Mathias developed his professional career at LLYC between 2013 and 2020, after working for companies, public bodies and media groups that include TV Globo, the portal UOL, the Getúlio Vargas Foundation and the Legislative Assembly of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Formally trained in journalism and law, he has participated in key moments for the company in Brazil, such as the opening of the office in Sao Paulo and the development of the specialized fields of healthcare and life sciences.

By introducing these changes, the global communication and public affairs consultancy firm incorporates an in-house talent to head up the Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices, who is familiar with the DNA of their activity and who can contribute a strategic and innovative vision of communication as a component of the businesses of each customer. At the same time, the firm takes another step in integrating its Advisory Board in the public administration, bringing its customers and executives closer each day to the group of senior advisers headed up by Cleber Martins, acknowledged for his actions in affairs that range from the political sciences to agricultural business.

Returning to LLYC is like coming home, to the place where I have developed a career geared toward generating palpable results for customers, particularly those that act in highly regulated markets. After acquiring experience in business consulting, with an emphasis on ESG and in the energy sector, I return to find an even stronger activity brimming with growth opportunities”, comments Thyago, adding a little of his vision for businesses and the operation. “My challenge will be to build an even bigger and stronger office based on these foundations. As an LGBTI+ man, of indigenous origin and from a family from the northeast, I hope to also be able to contribute a vision that pays closer attention to inclusion and diversity within the business.”

According to Juan Carlos Gozzer, Director of Operations in Latin America at LLYC, the company’s commitment is to add value to the work and the businesses of our customers through talent and innovation. “The arrival of Thyago offers us experience, vision and methodology in team and project management. Without doubt, he further strengthens our growth project”, adds Juan.

LLYC has won another award. “Invisible Soledad”, the Consumer Engagement campaign for BBK, has just won a Silver Award at the New York Festivals Advertising Awards 2021 in the category of Outdoor: Best Use. This prestigious event, which has been held since 1995, recognizes the most creative advertising work at an international level. The award winners are selected by discerning jury of over 400 members.

“We are very pleased that the international projection of “Invisible Soledad” continues to gain attention because this means there is continued attention for the social campaign to combat unwanted loneliness”, claims David González Natal, Partner and Director of Engagement.

Invisible Soledad” has now won 47 awards. It has been a prize-winner over the last year at the main national and international award ceremonies. These include the Cannes Lions, CLIO Awards, International Andy Awards, Brand Film EMEA, SABRE EMEA Awards and El Ojo de Iberoamérica.

Ciao 2020“, a prize-winner

In addition, in the last few hours, LLYC has won a Bronze Award at the EMEA Inspiring Workplaces Awards 2021 with “Ciao 2020” – the project created by the Talent Engagement team and produced by Estudio Creativo for Ikea.

This award was in the Inspiring Communication category, which recognizes initiatives developed to inspire employees through internal communication actions.

Formerly known as the Employee Engagement Awards, these awards recognize the best companies to work for and the communication strategies implemented for employee well-being.

LLYC has successfully completed its capital increase prior to its debut on BME Growth, scheduled for the second fortnight of July. The public offering launched by LLYC, which seeks to attract a maximum of 10 million euros, received excess demand of 5.1 times the amount offered, as stated in the addendum to the Information Document on Market Listings (Spanish acronym: DIIM) published today.

Accordingly, the capital increase has been subscribed by 1,520 new investors, mainly Spanish family-owned investment vehicles, which submitted subscription orders for an amount in excess of 51 million euros – 5.1 times the amount offered.

As a result of the capital increase, Company capital now comprises 11,639,570 shares. It has set a reference price of 9.39 euros per share for the listing, valuing equity at more than 109 million euros.

Following the capital increase, the professional partners of LLYC control 81.21% of the group’s capital, including treasury stock, while 18.79% is in the hands of new investors.

The funds raised will be allocated to financing part of the growth plan, both organically and inorganically, whereby LLYC seeks to double the size of its business in the next four years and achieve revenue of 100 million euros by the end of 2024. The aim of this business plan is to consolidate LLYC as a comprehensive communication and public affairs consultancy provider, with capacities in creativity, marketing and technology, while strengthening the group’s international leadership.

To achieve this goal, the plan is structured on four pillars: to integrate exponential technologies in the Company’s portfolio of services, perform acquisitions of value to continue incorporating capacities that contribute to consolidating the group’s differential position, forge strategic alliances to break into new geographic markets and boost organic growth above market averages, which will act as the foundation for expansion and cash generation.