Communisis acquires Life Marketing Consultancy for up to £23.3M

communisisCommunication services business Communisis plc has acquired shopper marketing agency, Life Marketing Consultancy Limited.

Life’s adjusted EBITDA (on a normalised basis before non-recurring items) for the year ending 31 December 2014 is expected to be approximately £1.4 million. For the financial year ended 31 December 2013, Life generated adjusted EBITDA of £1 million on turnover of £7.0 million (£4.6 million net of recharged third-party costs). Gross assets of Life at that date were £3.6 million.

Communisis will acquire Life for an initial consideration of up to £14 million including its estimated free cash at completion of £0.7m. The initial consideration will be satisfied by the issue of a two-year, bank guaranteed promissory note of £9.3 million, £0.7 million in cash and the issue to the vendors of 7,988,015 new ordinary shares in Communisis. The new ordinary shares have a one-year restriction on sale.

Additional consideration of up to £9.3 million will be payable on the basis of Life’s future performance including its average adjusted EBITDA for the two financial years ending 31 December 2015 and 2016 and the contribution from defined synergies realised over Life’s three financial years ending 31 December 2017. The additional consideration will be satisfied in cash of up to £7.3 million and by the issue of new ordinary shares up to a value of £2.0 million.

The maximum consideration payable is £23.3 million.

Life is a research and insight-led shopper marketing agency. It’s clients are leading consumer goods groups especially in the food, drinks, technology and pharmaceutical sectors. Life has 63 permanent employees and operates from offices in Birmingham and London. The principal vendors, David Poole and Ian Humphris will join the Group in senior executive roles.

Shopper marketing focuses distinctly on understanding and influencing consumer behaviour within the shopping environment whilst also taking account of retailer strategies and requirements. It is an important component of the marketing budgets of large consumer goods brands.

Andy Blundell, Chief Executive, commented; “Life has an excellent reputation in shopper marketing. It brings new capability to Communisis, broadening our agency proposition and complementing the brand deployment services offered to our growing number of consumer goods clients. This acquisition will benefit our fastest growing and higher margin business segments.”

UK, London

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