Investis acquires ZOG Digital

ZOG 1Digital communications company Investis, a portfolio company of private equity company ECI, has acquired digital marketing agency ZOG Digital. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ZOG Digital, based in Phoenix, USA and founded in 2011, provides key digital marketing services, including search engine optimisation, content strategy, paid media and social marketing. The business is ranked by Forrester as one of the top 10 US search marketing agencies. Clients include Whirlpool, Fruit of the Loom, Wyndham Vacation Rentals and Del Monte.

Investis, headquartered in London, has more than 500 employees globally. With the ZOG Digital acquisition, the company’s US presence will grow to over 100 employees, split between Phoenix and the company’s US headquarters in New York City.

“Digital is at the heart of everything we do,” said Investis CEO Don Scales. “With this acquisition, we define end-to-end content strategy, drive new visibility and amplify influence and engagement across all channels and platforms. Our roots in the investor relations space give us a unique perspective on creating the next-generation digital communications company. ZOG Digital’s capabilities, in particular, will benefit our corporate clients globally.”

“Don’s track record as a top operator and global executive in the digital industry gives new velocity to the vision, client success and company culture we have built at ZOG,” said Jeff Herzog, ZOG Digital founder/CEO. “Together the companies will help corporate communicators establish new trusted and valuable relationships between brands and audiences. The ability to deliver connected content will open up new markets in the US and throughout Europe.”

Herzog will join Investis as an advisor and resident futurist, helping identify growth opportunities for the company.

Richard Chapman, Partner at ECI and a Board Director at Investis commented, “We are delighted to have backed Don and the team at Investis to make this acquisition. In our experience we have found strategic investments such as this one to be powerful growth drivers.”

Uk, London, & USA, New York & USA, Phoenix, AZ


Next Fifteen Communications Group acquires Charterhouse Research

Next 15Next 15 Communications Group plc, the digital communications group, has acquired Charterhouse Research Limited through its data and insights subsidiary, MIG Global Limited. Charterhouse is a specialist financial market research consultancy.

Charterhouse ResearchCharterhouse was founded in 2004 by four market researchers, Julie Irwin, Mark Dennis, Sara McFadzean and Mervyn Flack. Julie will continue to run the business as Managing Director with Mark and Sara continuing in their position as Directors; Mervyn is relinquishing his role as Chairman.

Next 15 are paying an initial consideration of £2.75 million. That is £1.74 million for the business and £1.01 million for the net assets. £2.58 million is being paid in cash with the balance through the issue of 41,598 new ordinary shares.

Further cash payments may become payable based on the profits of Charterhouse for the years ending 31 January 2019 and 31 January 2020. .

For the year ended 31 August 2016, Charterhouse reported turnover of £2.69 million, adjusted profit before tax of £0.59 million and net assets of £0.78 million.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15, commented: “Next 15 is committed to building a deep data and insight capability at its core. Charterhouse is an important step in that strategy, significantly enhancing our financial services offering. The combination of MIG’s technology driven consultancy and data offering with Charterhouse, a leading specialist in financial market research, will help drive deeper and more actionable insights to the financial services industry.”

Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for the new ordinary shares to be admitted to AIM and it is expected that admission will take place on 29 September 2017. Following the issue and allotment of the new ordinary shares, the Company will have 75,516,196 ordinary shares in issue. No ordinary shares are held in treasury.

UK, London

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WPP invests $5 million in Gimlet Media

wppWPP is investing $5 million for a minority stake in Gimlet Media, Inc., a global podcasting company based in the US.

Gimlet’s advertising and branded-content clients include Alphabet Inc., Ford Motor Company, PepsiCo, Match Group, eBay, Blue Apron, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft Corporation. Gimlet is based in Brooklyn, New York and was founded in 2014. It employs 85 people.

Gimlet’s podcasts are downloaded over 12 million times per month in over 190 countries worldwide. Gimlet’s programming spans a variety of verticals like StartUp (business), Reply All (internet culture), Mogul (music), Homecoming (scripted fiction), Uncivil (history), Science Vs (science), Crimetown (true crime), The Nod (Black culture), among many others. Gimlet also produces branded podcasts on behalf of advertisers. Since its founding, Gimlet has raised US$27 million in funding.

UK, London & USA, New York

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Grey acquires a majority stake in hug digital in Dubai

GreyWPP‘s wholly-owned operating company Grey, the marketing communications agency, has acquired a majority stake in hug digital in Dubai. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

hug is a Middle East-based digital agency that provides services including campaigns, social media, research, content marketing and influencer marketing. Clients include international, regional and local brands such as Americana, Al-Futtaim automotive group, Dubai Tourism and Shell.

hug digitalhug’s revenues for the year ended 31 December 2016 were approximately AED19 million, with gross assets of approximately AED7.4 million as at the same date. In addition to its Dubai headquarters, hug has offices in Egypt and India. In total the agency employs around 145 people.

UK, London & UAE, Dubai

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Centaur completes the acquisition of MarketMakers

centaur-logoCentaur Media Plc has completed the acquisition of MarketMakers Incorporated Limited, an integrated marketing services businesses. The initial consideration is £13.4 million, followed by a deferred earnout amount based on EBITDA performance. 

MarketMakers had revenues of £11.4 million and adjusted EBITDA of £1.7 million for year ended 31 December 2016. It is ranked as the No.1 telemarketing agency in the UK by B2B Marketing and has achieved growth in revenues of 27% over the last three years.

Read the original Fusion DigiNet article Centaur acquires MarketMakers

The acquisition  follows the completion of the disposal of Centaur’s B2C division, Home Interest, on 1 August 2017.

Andria Vidler, Chief Executive, commented:

“Both the acquisition of MarketMakers and the disposal of Home Interest will help accelerate the transformation of Centaur into a pure B2B focussed business. These transactions will provide our increasingly professional customer base with a range of higher value-added products and services.”

UK, London

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WPP invests in VR/AR company Within Unlimited in the US

wppWPP has made a strategic investment in Within Unlimited, Inc., a US-based virtual reality/augmented reality entertainment and technology company

Within creates and produces virtual reality content and also curates content from third parties, which it distributes through the Within app.

Partners and content collaborators include Apple, The New York Times, NBC Universal, Vice, 21st Century Fox, and Alphabet Inc. Within employs over 35 people and is based in Los Angeles with an office in San Francisco. It was founded in 2014. Within is led by film maker and music video director Chris Milk and technologist Aaron Koblin.

UK, London & USA, Los Angeles, CA

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Sizmek to Acquire Rocket Fuel for $125.5M

SismekSizmek, an advertising technology company owned by PE firm Vector Capital, is to acquire Rocket Fuel a technology company that offers a Predictive Marketing Platform designed to help marketers & their agencies connect with consumers through digital media, for $125.5 million, or $2.60 per share in cash, valuing Rocket Fuel at approximately $145 million. Rocket Fuel trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “FUEL.

“The acquisition of Rocket Fuel brings omni-channel creativity and AI-enabled decisioning together under one roof, providing our clients with a self-service predictive marketing platform that optimizes campaigns across the entire media plan,” said Dr. Mark Grether, Executive Chairman of Sizmek.

Collectively, Sizmek and Rocket Fuel service more than 20,000 advertisers and 3,600 agencies to global audiences in over 70 countries.

Rocket Fuel Inc revenues fell 1.16% in FY 2016 compared to FY 2015 to 456.26m. It made net losses of $66 million, compared to a loss of $211 million in 2015. Rocket Fuel’s net loss, adjusted for depreciation and amortisation, is expected to be between $4 million and $3 million in the second quarter of this year.

USA, New York, NY