Predictive analytics and data science firm Planning-Inc has been bought by digital communications group Next 15 in a deal which could be worth up £15m.
Set up in 2011, Planning-Inc has 55 staff and works for clients including Argos, Marks & Spencer, Sony and Halfords. In the year ending December 31 2017, it recorded a pre-tax profit of £1.3m. It has gross assets of £2.7m.
Next 15 has 22 agency brands in its portfolio, including digital shop Elvis, ad agency Story Worldwide, fashion specialist ODD London and a number of PR and research businesses. It specialises in acquiring, incubating and growing data-driven digital agencies with a diverse range of services.
The group is paying an initial sum 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 by April 2023, with the maximum total expected to be £15m.
Planning-Inc managing director 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 focused businesses scale, and we are excited at the prospect of our combined experience as well as the potential of collaborating with the other agencies within the group.”
Next 15 Communications Group chief executive Tim Dyson (pictured) 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.”
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