Marketing services group Kin + Carta is back on the acquisition trail with its first major deal since it rebranded from St Ives late last year, snapping up private US digital transformation consultancy Spire Digital in a deal worth $14.8m (£11.5m).
Kin + Carta said that Spire is a highly complementary asset to the group’s “innovation” division, which also includes Solstice and TAB and represents 56% of 2109 net revenue.
The group’s other divisions are strategy (which includes Incite, Hive and Pragma), communications (Amaze Realise and Edit) and ventures (Relish and Loop Integration).
Founded in 1998 in Denver, Colorado by Mike Gellman, Spire specialises in software development, user interface design and experience development. It has more than 100 staff and will expand Kin + Carta’s geographic reach to the Western US.
Spire president Adam Hasemeyer and chief operating officer Nick Coppolo have been leading the business for the past three years and will remain the senior management team. Gelman will stay on as an advisor, with the deal expected to be completed in the new year.
Kin + Carta chief executive J Schwan (pictured) said: “The acquisition of Spire Digital is directly in line with our growth strategy, delivering a strategic foothold in the western United States with a best-in-class software design and engineering capability that adds to our fast growing Innovation pillar.
“Spire has a strong reputation of delivering highly innovative solutions and building a winning culture that’s hard to find. We’re looking forward to bringing the Spire Digital team into the Kin + Carta Connective.”
Hasemeyer added: “We’ve grown Spire significantly in recent years and have established a strong reputation in the western US DX market.
“To realise our fullest potential, we recognised that we needed a partner with deeper resources and a broad geographic reach. We scouted the market from the largest global firms to niche players and decided on Kin + Carta as the perfect choice for Spire.
“We identify closely with the spirit of entrepreneurialism and agility that we found there and are excited to reach new heights as a part of this impressive organisation.”
However, Kin + Carta has also come in for some criticism in industry circles for failing to keep hold of senior management following the news that the original co-founders of agency Branded3 had launched a digital performance marketing start-up, Connective3,
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