Oh What A Year That Was – Boomtime For M&A In Marketing Services
Author: Tessa Laws
As the Acuity year ends in November I decided to reflect on one of the activities keeping the (former) newlawslegal corporate team busy – and busy we have been, thankfully. James, Adam and I have completed over twenty deals in the marketing services sector over the past twelve months – many of them cross border. It is a fascinating arena, not only because of its multiple possibilities but also because against the backdrop of the pandemic there has been an increase in communications demand which has led to a lot of sectorial activity.
A few of our deals follow:
We kicked off last November closing a deal for Redhouse Communications (a brand strategy agency of some 30 years old) who were acquired by Definition Agency, an organisation steeped in reputation management with ‘an ambitious growth strategy’ https://www.prweek.com/article/1701171/pr-agency-definition-makes-second-acquisition-month
Definition also acquired our video production clients Topline as well as having bought Words & Pictures in early November 2020 https://toplinecomms.com/insights/definition-acquires-topline.
James completed two cross border acquisitions for the US based Finn & Partners, the independent and fast growing agency group ‘with a heart and a conscience’ headed by the charming and modest Peter Finn, one business focused on healthcare (expanding the F&P offering here) https://www.finnpartners.com/news-insights/finn-partners-health-practice-continues-to-expand-global-reach/
and the other in digital marketing https://www.finnpartners.com/news-insights/minttwist-joins-the-finn-family/
Our client the two Tom’s at Chameleon joined another US based group, Mike Worldwide (MWW), in April https://www.mww.com/press-releases/mikeworldwide-acquires-leading-uk-technology-public-relations-consultancy-chameleon/ expanding their technology offering.
In the UK we acted on the purchase of two agencies for PLMR, the multi award-winning political lobbying and media agency founded by the polymath Kevin Craig. These new additions expand PLMR’s reach nationally and sector wise. https://www.provokemedia.com/latest/article/plmr-acquires-genesis-as-part-of-uk-growth-plans and https://plmr.co.uk/2021/10/plmr-acquires-advent-communications-as-part-of-strategic-growth-plan/.
One of our hospitality focused agencies, Omnifi, was acquired by Access Group https://www.theaccessgroup.com/en-gb/company/news/access-group-acquires-omnifi/ giving Access Group a total of four agency buys this year.
You may wonder why I am sharing all this – apart from my tendency towards self-publicity – I want to highlight the resilience of the communications sector and to emphasise how marketing, branding and public relations are all key to global growth and to congratulate them on how they have grown their technologies and focus during the last 18 months of the pandemic.
Find out how you business can become a success story like these alongside Acuity by getting in touch with Tessa Laws.