Digital media and analytics agency Agenda 21 has been snapped up by venture capitalist firm Mithril in a deal – led by former Engine Group and Aegis boss Peter Scott – which could be ultimately be worth nearly £12m to the founders.
Founded in 2005, Agenda 21 specialises in multi-channel campaigns across pay-per-click, natural search, display advertising and other paid media, underpinned by proprietary analytics. It serves clients across a variety of industries, including financial services, utilities, B2B and B2C goods and charities, including the AA, SSE, Macmillan, Right Move, Jurys Inn and Investec.
The deal comprises an upfront payment of £3.3m, with 65% in cash and 35% shares. A further £8.6m will be payable subject to performance criteria over the next three years.
The business is currently owned and managed by its founders, Pete Robins and Rhys Williams, who will remain with the agency until the acquisition is finalised.
It will pay 65% of that in cash, with the remaining 35% in shares. The acquisition will only go through if Mithril is able to raise funds by selling new shares in the company, and if its shares can be moved to trading on AIM from the main market.
The enlarged group, dubbed Be Heard, will be chaired by Scott. It will focus on building a digital-centric network of specialist companies operating in the marketing services, technology and e-commerce sectors. Scott is to act in an executive capacity.
The acquisition is considered to be a reverse takeover under stock exchange rules.