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Creston acquires How Splendid

Agency looks to bolster its digital offering with new buy

Creston healthMarketing communications group Creston has acquired London-based digital design and development consultancy How Splendid Ltd.

Creston, one of the largest comms agencies in the UK, says the buy will “form an important part of Creston Unlimited's digital consultancy offer”.

The firm has taken a 51% stake in the Splendid, including a performance element to the paying of a deferred consideration (£8.7m up front then up to £7m down the line) - then call options on a 24% stake and a further 25% stake in future.

Founded in 2003 and based in London, Splendid comprises user experience (UX) specialists, designers and developers, delivering work for a variety of multinational, blue-chip clients across the finance, utilities, retail and media sectors.

This currently includes Barclaycard, Boots, eBay, Gamesys, News UK, Skrill, SSE and Star Alliance.

While Splendid's service is focused on the UX between a brand and a customer, its delivery can range from developing a client's future digital strategy for consumer and brand interaction, to working alongside system integrators to ensure systems are optimised for a consumer's usage, to designing, building and managing client websites.

The acquisition is designed to fit with Creston's strategy to continue growing its digital marketing consultancy offering.

The complementary services of the two businesses are expected to create significant cross-selling and referral opportunities, according to Creston.

Following the acquisition, Splendid will also be re-branded as 'Splendid Unlimited', in-line with Creston Unlimited's branding and corporate philosophy.

Barrie Brien, group chief executive of Creston, said: “Splendid is an excellent business which enhances our Creston Unlimited offer perfectly. As part of Creston Unlimited, Splendid's consultancy expertise, which focuses on the way brands do business in the digital world, will complement the Group's marketing communications strength and further evolve our compelling integrated digital services offer.”

Splendid's three founding partners and shareholders, Paul Bishop, Alex Eicke and Dan Morris, will remain with the company, with all three becoming managing partners of Splendid Unlimited.

Bishop added: “We are really excited to be joining the Creston family. Having looked long and hard to find the right partner for our next stage of growth, we believe Creston Unlimited's range of services and attitude really add to our core proposition of digital transformation and allow us to create bigger conversations with our clients.”

Article by
Ben Adams

22nd April 2015

From: Marketing

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