UK marcoms group Next Fifteen Communications (Next15) has acquired insight-led US B2B demand generation company Activate Marketing Services. The deal is valued at an initial $9m in cash, with up to $48m to be added over the next five years.
San Francisco and New York-based Activate uses buyer insight to create personas which demonstrate how tech buyers think, feel and act. Buyer persona analysis includes understanding business problems, decision-making teams and individual profiles – including the traits of each individual in the buying process. Using persona mapping, the firm then determines clients’ best performing content by segment, and helps create new content that performs in any media by mapping both format and messaging.
Following the acquisition Activate will continue to operate as an independent brand as part of Next15 Network’s Digital Content and Technology business. Activate’s current senior management, including co-founder and CEO Ed Grossman and co-founder and President Martha Schwartz, will remain with and continue to run the business.
To fund the buy, Next15 will undertake a cash placing to raise up to £20m. On top of the initial sale price of $9m, a performance-related top-up of up to $2.25m is payable in 2019, and a further deferred consideration is payable over the next five years, with the total consideration capped at $48m.
CEO Tim Dyson (pictured) says of the news: ‘Next 15’s strategy is to build and buy data and technology-driven businesses that enable companies to do world class marketing. Activate very much fits into that strategy by using a mix of data and technology to deliver high value, qualified sales leads to its clients. This product set fits alongside our other sales engagement products from Agent3 and Twogether. Couple this with the quality of the leadership team at Activate and you have a great addition to the Next15 Group’.
Next15 says it is currently in discussions regarding a number of other acquisition opportunities in the data marketing and technology driven research spaces in the US and UK.