London-based Cello Group has acquired public sector specialist Market Research International (widely known as mruk), in a deal worth an estimated £6 million.
This year the Group has also bought a 21% share of London-based online qual agency, Nqual (www.mrweb.com/drno/news6726.htm
), acquired healthcare marketing consultancy MSI, and taken majority stakes in Digital People and qual agency Rosenblatt (www.mrweb.com/drno/news6380.htm
). Cello already owns consumer-focused Leapfrog Research & Planning, as well as b2b specialist RS Consulting.
In a recent Earpiece interview, Cello Chairman Kevin Steeds outlined the Group’s corporate ambition to double in size (www.mrweb.com/earpiece
). Commenting on today’s announcement, he said that the latest acquisition will boost the Group's presence in the public sector market: ‘The addition of this very complementary business will both add scale and accelerate the growth of our existing public sector practice.’
mruk was established in 1994 and works with many regional and national public sector organisations, and for numerous Government agencies, local authorities, police authorities, regional development agencies, registered social landlords and utilities.
For the year to 30 June 2006, mruk research had a turnover of £4.4 million, audited profits before tax of £0.3 million, and net assets of £0.6 million including cash of £0.4 million.
Cello's initial consideration is for £1.5m, half of which is payable in cash and the remainder in the issue of shares. Further performance-related payments will be made up to a maximum of £4.5 million.
The Group’s strategy is to create value for shareholders by building a portfolio of research and consulting businesses capable of advising blue chip clients globally. Cello has annualised turnover in excess of £80 million, gross profits of over £50 million and employs approx 550 staff. Web sites are at www.cellogroup.co.uk