(Bloomberg) -- Argentine software firm Globant SA purchased a majority stake in creative agency GUT as it ups its bet on marketing services as a key growth driver.

Globant, which is also making a push into artificial intelligence solutions, is investing in Miami-based GUT as part of a plan to build out its creative operations. The ad firm, which has seven offices and counts Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, Kraft Heinz Co and Coca-Cola Co. among its clients, was named Cannes Lions Independent Network of the Year after winning 35 awards. Globant declined to disclose the size of the GUT acquisition. 

“With this, we’re completing the range of offerings to provide a comprehensive offer to our clients,” Globant Chief Executive Officer Martin Migoya said in an interview. “The market is demanding more integration between technology and how we communicate with our consumers and clients, and that’s at the core of our conversation with GUT.”

The move is part of a plan to spend $1 billion in Latin America to build out AI operations and hire 20,000 employees over the next five years. Globant currently has over 27,500 employees. Marketing, in addition to enterprise and digital, are the three key areas where the funds will be invested. Migoya declined to say how much of that has been deployed already, but acknowledged it was a “good amount.”

GUT sees the deal as a chance to partner with a “visionary” tech firm, according to co-founder Anselmo Ramos. “There’s no limits to what we can build and create.”  

Ramos added that the agency has already embraced artificial intelligence tools in their creative process. “Our biggest fear is the blank page, but with AI you don’t have that anymore.”  

GUT will continue to operate independently from Globant under its current leadership. 

Creative Bets

Globant has been deepening its ties with big-league sports recently, including LaLiga soccer in Spain, World Cup organizer FIFA and the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. It’s one of the areas most ripe for collaboration in the technology and marketing space, according to Migoya. 

European banks, the auto sector and airlines are among other sectors where Globant has a lot of clients that GUT is excited to work with, co-founder Gaston Bigio said, while the agency has a lot of clients in mass consumer products that could be interesting to the software company. 

Globant posted $543 million in revenue in the third quarter, topping analyst estimates. Shares of the company are up nearly 29% so far this year, a relatively modest gain amid the robust rally in US tech stocks, but the stock has 15 “buy” recommendations from analysts, according data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Dollarization Hopes

When asked about his home country of Argentina, Migoya said that the dollarization plan that President-elect Javier Milei has proposed is a “blessing.” 

“Having a stable currency is what Argentina needs to develop and progress. Any method that gets us to that is a blessing,” he said. “As for us, we’ve been dollarized for years, so it won’t make a difference.”

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