Hills Balfour has officially joined forces with MMGY Global, the world’s largest integrated marketing company specialising in travel and hospitality.
The merger, announced today, which includes Hills Balfour’s offices across London and Dubai, significantly expands MMGY Global’s footprint and brings the agency’s total number of employees to more than 400 and overseas offices to four, including Madrid, Taipei, and now additionally London and Dubai.
As a result of Hills Balfour’s brand recognition and long-standing reputation as a European and Middle East leader, the agency will continue to trade as Hills Balfour, and it will now be known as Hills Balfour, an MMGY Global Company.
The MMGY brand and services will now also be introduced into both regions as MMGY London and MMGY Dubai.
The two firms will begin integrating operations this year.
Following MMGY Global’s acquisitions over the last two years of DK Shifflet & Associates, Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations, Myriad Marketing and Spring O’Brien, the merger with Hills Balfour fuels its global expansion and commitment to integration across all travel marketing channels.
“Expanding our presence beyond Madrid, Hills Balfour is the right step into Europe for us, and we see our foothold in the UK market as an excellent base to expand across the key European and Middle East tourism markets,” stated Clayton Reid, chief executive of MMGY Global.
“Their reputation in-market, along with an exceptional senior management team and a loyal and long-standing client base, made our merger of operations an easy one.”
Amanda Hills, Hills Balfour’s founder, will remain an integral part of the business, continuing to oversee the London and Dubai firms’ overall operations.
She will assume the new role of president, HB and MMGY London and Dubai, partnering with the MMGY Global senior management team to grow the agency’s European footprint.
“Joining forces with MMGY Global is a truly exciting move for everybody involved.
“Taking the strength of their services and extending this through Hills Balfour into the UK and Dubai markets is a logical move and offers even greater benefit to both our clients and our teams at Hills Balfour, all of whom will be part of this journey,” said Hills.
“Adding MMGY Global’s very comprehensive multi-disciplinary skillset to complement our existing roster of superb marcomms, PR, representation, creative, digital and advertising experience will provide a complete solution for the market and ensure ultimate recognition as the world’s largest global marketing firm specialising in travel and tourism.”
Hills Balfour is the fourth merger and acquisition by MMGY Global since private equity firm Peninsula Capital Partners and Fine Equity Partners (investor Jeffrey Fine, founder of CIBT) made a significant equity investment into MMGY Global in February 2016.
Hills Balfour was advised on the transaction by Cavendish Corporate Finance.
Amanda Hills-Balfour, founder, Hills Balfour, and Craig Compagnone, executive vice president of business strategy for MMGY Global, speak to Breaking Travel News at ITB Berlin