Smith & Milton in joint venture

Identity and packaging design group Smith & Milton is launching a joint venture with ad agency M&C Saatchi.

Identity and packaging design group Smith & Milton is launching a joint venture with ad agency M&C Saatchi.

The agreement effectively sees M&C Saatchi take a 40 per cent stake in Smith & Milton’s future projects, with immediate effect, though neither group is revealing the actual size of the financial input. M&C Saatchi joint chief executive Nick Hurrell and finance director Jerry Wales will take up seats on the Smith & Milton board.

The new venture represents a move by the two groups to formalise a long-standing working agreement, in a bid to develop both businesses on a global scale.

The two companies already share a number of clients, including PPP Healthcare and supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. Joint pitching will now take place on projects “where appropriate,” says Smith & Milton chairman Howard Milton.

Smith & Milton will stick closely to its existing areas of expertise, says Milton. “We see this as the opportunity to build Smith & Milton as a major force in brand identity,” he adds.

Additions to Smith & Milton’s 20 staff are expected, but the growth will be gradual. The company will stay in its current offices in London’s Clerkenwell.

The two companies were brought together through the M&C Saatchi Village, an informal grouping of like-minded companies. “We have known each other for over a decade and wanted to formalise our relationship,” says M&C Saatchi’s Hurrell.

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