Blueberry Wave and GBG acquisition unite as HH Global

Mattey1HH Global is continuing to bolster its data, analytics and digital operation by combining Blueberry Wave with a new acquisition – the marketing services unit of Chester-based GB Group – to create the HH Global interactive division, which will be headed up by former Blueberry Wave chief Steve Mattey.

Launched in 1989 as GB Information Management, the company started off by specialising in database software and bureau services but following a number of acquisitions it now wants to concentrate on three core areas of identity management, location intelligence and fraud prevention. GBG claims that marketing services activities represented only 2% of the group’s 2019/20 revenues.

The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions completed by HH Global since it first invested in Blueberry Wave – then led by Nick Dixon – in February 2019.

The investment allowed HH Global to tap into Blueberry Wave’s data and analytics expertise while giving the latter access to HH Global’s creative execution, print procurement and tech capabilities.

HH Global then secured a £100m war chest to develop its multichannel marketing offering and within months had swallowed up one of its main rivals by acquiring Chicago-headquartered InnerWorkings in an all-cash deal worth $177m (£140m).

While relatively unknown in the UK market, InnerWorkings North American division has a $1.16bn (£870m) turnover with clients including Adidas, Unilever, HSBC, FedEx and Procter & Gamble.

Dixon left Blueberry Wave late last year to pursue new opportunities, passing the reigns to co-director and shareholder Mattey, who has now become managing director of the interactive division.

Commentating about the GB Group deal, he said: “We are delighted at the additional marketing technologies and tools this acquisition brings us, as well as the highly skilled team from GBG. This acquisition strengthens our interactive solutions, supporting our clients’ growing needs for smarter and more advanced marketing execution.”

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