Crayon buy ‘to shake up market’

Karma Communications’ acquisition of the Crayon group could shake up the agency market, according to one of the men who advised on the deal, who claims the buyout will create a “vibrant new integrated business”.
Crayon was founded in 1998 as Hicklin Slade but rebranded when it bought Crayon three years ago. Following the acquisition, it will now work alongside independent integrated advertising agency Karmarama.
The Crayon Group comprises Crayon London, data consultancy Crayon CI, software provider ZigZag, and market research agency Walk a Mile. Its clients include BT, Camelot, Honda, the BBC and Lloyds Banking Group.
Its principal shareholders – Justin Hicklin, Mark Runacus and Matthew Brown (pictured, left to right) – will sit on the board of Karma Communications and, take a collective stake in the new group of more than 50%.
Jim Houghton, partner at Results International, who advised on the deal, said: “The Crayon Group has been on an exciting journey in recent years. It has built a truly data-driven digital offering that makes it a compelling proposition both for clients and potential partners.
“The creation of the Karma Communications Group through this transaction is a landmark event. Significant new platform businesses are formed very rarely and joining the Karma Communications Group therefore represents a unique opportunity for Crayon management to enter into a vibrant new integrated business and to play a key role in determining its future and growing its value.
“The Karma Communications Group is one of the most interesting, integrated offerings we have seen launching into the sector for some years and has the potential to do things differently and really shake up the market.”

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