Congratulations to digital marketing agency AKQA, which has sold a majority stake to US private equity firm

General Atlantic

 for an estimated $250 million.

AKQA, which has clients including Nike, Microsoft and Coca-Cola, had hired Morgan Stanley last year to advise on a possible sale. Other interested parties reportedly included the WPP Group.

The company, originally founded in the UK, employs 475 staff in offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC and Singapore.

AKQA joined forces in 2001 with US agencies Citron Haligman Bedecarre and Magnet Interactive and Asian new media agency The AdInc.

After the deal with General Atlantic, AKQA will keep its existing management team, which includes Ajaz Ahmed, co-founder and chairman.

AKQA had estimated revenues of £35.6m last year, with a predicted income of £50m in 2007.

Ajaz has positioned the company to be a global player, offering a sort of one-stop shop for large clients like Coca-Cola. We’ll be hearing more from him about the company’s progress and plans next week.