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Cello Plucks 2CV In £10.9m Deal

October 23 2007

Cello has snapped up London-based consumer specialist 2CV in a deal which Chairman Kevin Steeds says is consistent with the firm's strategy of building a substantial international research and consulting group.

The acquisition, worth up to £10.9m, comprises an initial payment of £5.4m and four further performance-related amounts of up to £5.5m. The first £3.5m will be payable in cash and loan notes, with the balance satisfied by the issue of 1,330,731 new ordinary shares.

Covent Garden-based 2CV is led by MD Vincent Nolan, whose 20 year background includes time spent as a Researcher with Davies Riley-Smith and The Research Business before leaving to set up on his own in 1989.

Nolan told DRNO that his company had agreed to the partnership because of Cello's demonstrable understanding of the research industry. Outlining the benefits of the deal, he added: '2CV has a very strong egalitarian culture, so more than a dozen of the original team will benefit from this and the future success of Cello and 2CV. We've also established a trust so current and future team members can participate in the earn-out over the next few years.'

With a staff of more than 50, 2CV provides market research and consultancy services, as well as NPD, marcoms and strategic media planning advice to numerous global brands. For the year to 31 May 2007, turnover was £5.7m, gross profit hit £4m and profits before tax were £0.7m.

Cello already owns MR firms Insight Research Group, Field Management Limited (FML), Leapfrog Research and Planning, and the RS Consulting Group; and acquired mruk in June ( www.mrweb.com/drno/news6893.htm ) and Rosenblatt and Digital People Online in January ( www.mrweb.com/drno/news6380.htm ). Steeds described 2CV as a 'thought-leading and innovative consumer insight agency'.

Web sites: www.cellogroup.co.uk and www.2cv.co.uk.

All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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