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Richard Bell

Digital group Next 15 to acquire data marketing firm for up to £15m

Digital communications group Next 15 has announced a multi-million pound deal to acquire predictive analytics and data marketing firm Planning-Inc.

Next 15, based in London, is paying an initial consideration of around £6.3m, with another payment due around April based on Planning-Inc’s EBITDA performance in the year to December 31 2018.

Further performance-based payments will be made around April 2021 and April 2023, with the maximum total consideration expected to be £15m.

Planning-Inc, which is also London based, is a marketing, data and technology agency with gross assets of £2.7m and clients including Argos, M&S, Sony and Halfords. In the year ending December 31 2017, it recorded a pre-tax profit and EBIT of £1.3m.

Following today’s acquisition, it will continue operating as an independent brand within the wider Next 15 group.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen Communications Group plc, said: “Next 15 believes marketing is a technology and data-driven activity.

“As a result we are committed to investing in these areas alongside the creative aspects of marketing. Planning-inc’s focus on using data science and analytics to inform and design great marketing programmes fits beautifully with our strategy.”

He added: “We are excited to have them as a part of the group and believe they will work with a number of the agencies in the group.”

Planning-inc MD James Melhuish commented: “Over the last few years we have put a strong focus on developing scalable and increasingly sophisticated data and analytics solutions that deliver proven ROI for our clients.

“By joining the Next 15 group we can tap into their proven expertise at helping data and technology focussed businesses scale, and we are tremendously excited at the prospect of our combined experience as well as the potential of collaborating with the other agencies within the group.”

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