Indie Digital Shop Rosetta Acquires Brulant

New Jersey-based interactive shop Rosetta has acquired Brulant, an independent digital agency from Cleveland that will add significant reach and manpower to Rosetta’s profile.

The combination of the two firms creates one of the largest independent digital agencies in the U.S., with combined revenues of approximately $125 million and more than 600 employees. Brulant clients include Borders, Nationwide, Coach and Marriott. Rosetta clients include Bristol Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Tractor Supply Company and Allergen.

Len Pagon, Brulant’s founder and CEO, said the two agencies had complementary strengths that would help them expand in coming years.

“One of the really cool things is we were both built from the ground up around different verticals. About 60 percent of our business is in retail and consumer goods, and they’re biggest clients are in healthcare and pharma,” he said. “Our aspiration is to be the top independent digital agency over the next five years.”

Founded in 1998, Rosetta boasts about 230 employees and was on track in 2008 for revenues of about $55 million. Brulant has about 400 employees and was on track for $70 million in revenue for 2008.

The new agency will be called Rosetta, and the name Brulant will be phased out over the rest of the year. The combined entity will have six offices, including outposts in Boston, New York City and Princeton, New Jersey. Pagon will take the title co-chairman, while Rosetta founder, chairman and CEO Chris Kuenne will keep his titles.

But Rosetta’s plans for growth don’t stop with Brulant. Pagon said the agency already had a list of acquisition targets as it looked to expand into other cities and service areas.

“We are looking to expand into San Francisco, and eventually Europe and Asia, so we are looking at acquisitions that could help us achieve scale and critical mass in those markets. We are also looking to add expertise in social media, mobile and rich media,” he said. “By the first half of next year I wouldn’t be surprised if we made another deal.

In 2005, Rosetta acquired interactive pharma agency SimStar for an undisclosed sum.

Related reading