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Novo Interactive Merges with Blue Marble

Novo Interactive and The MacManus Group said they have merged Novo Interactive with MacManus' digital marketing communications agency Blue Marble ACG Ltd.

The MacManus Group, a network of diverse advertising, marketing and communications companies with offices in 75 countries, will be a significant shareholder and investor in the merged company. The new entity will operate independently.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The merged company, to be named in the first quarter of 2000, will employ more than 200 people across five offices in the U.S. and abroad.

Novo Interactive CEO Kelly Anthony Rodriques has been named CEO and chairman of the merged company. Blue Marble President and CEO David Yakir has been appointed vice-chairman.

The transaction combines Novo Interactive's strategic consulting, creative and technology service offerings with Blue Marble's interactive branding, marketing and media capabilities.

The merged company will use the investment from MacManus to engage in further merger and acquisition activities.

"Our clients will benefit substantially from this deal. The transaction allows us to best serve their growing business needs in this rapidly changing space," said Rodriques.

"A wider scope of services and geographic reach plus the complementary skill sets each company brings to the merger will enable us to grow aggressively and remain a leader in the Internet professional services market."

The MacManus Group includes D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, N.W. Ayer & Partners, The Kaplan Thaler Group, MediaVest Worldwide, Manning, Selvage & Lee, Bromley Aguilar & Associates, Medicus Group International and Clarion Marketing and Communications.

Founded in 1994, Novo Interactive clients have included E*TRADE, Levi Strauss & Co., and Michaels Stores Inc. Blue Marble clients have included Continental Airlines, Medscape and Procter & Gamble.