Next Fifteen Communications Grp PLC – Acquisition

Next Fifteen Communications Grp PLC – Acquisition

Next Fifteen Communications Group plc, the digital communications group, is pleased to announce the acquisition today of Planning-Inc Limited, a predictive analytics and data marketing business.

Planning-inc is a UK-based marketing, data and technology agency. Following the Acquisition Planning-inc will continue to operate as an independent brand as part of the Next 15 Network.

The initial consideration for the acquisition is approximately £6.3 million, which will be settled with £5.4 million in cash and the issue of 187,943 new ordinary shares in Next 15. Further deferred contingent consideration may be payable around April 2019 with a top-up payment based on the EBITDA performance of Planning-inc for the year ended 31 December 2018, and around April 2021 and April 2023 based on the EBIT performance of Planning-inc in the 2-year periods ending 31 January 2021 and 31 January 2023 respectively. The maximum total consideration is expected to be £15 million.

The Acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive for Next 15 in the first full year of ownership (FY20).

For the year ended 31 December 2017, Planning-inc reported EBIT and profit before tax of £1.3 million, and gross assets of £2.7 million.

The senior management team will continue to lead the business which includes clients such as Argos, M&S, Halfords and Sony.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15 commented: “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. 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”.

James Melhuish, MD of Planning-inc 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 focussed businesses scale, and we are tremendously excited at the prospect of our combined experience as well as the potential of collaborating with the other agencies within the group”.

Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for the new ordinary shares in Next 15 to be admitted to AIM and it is expected that admission will take place on or around 16 January 2019. The new ordinary shares will rank pari passu with the existing ordinary shares, including the right to receive all dividends declared, made or paid hereafter. Following the issue and allotment of the new ordinary shares, the Company will have 83,514,995 ordinary shares in issue. No ordinary shares are held in treasury.

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