NEWS2 November 2018

Next 15 buys Activate

M&A News North America Technology UK

US – Communications group Next 15 has acquired US-based B2B marketing services firm for tech businesses, Activate Marketing Services.

Activate combines buyer insights with content messaging to identify leads for clients. As a complementary business to Next 15’s digital content and technology businesses with a similar client base, it will sit within Next 15’s technology segment.

The initial consideration for the acquisition is approximately $9m, which will be settled in full in cash. Next 15 said a deferred top-up contingent consideration of up to $2.25m is payable in 2019 based on performance targets or up to 75% in shares at Next 15’s discretion.

A further deferred contingent consideration is payable over the next five years, in cash or at Next 15’s discretion up to 25% in shares, dependent on Activate’s profitability. The total consideration payable is capped at $48 million.

Next 15 will undertake a non-preemptive cash placing to raise up to £20m to fund the acquisition and associated costs, as well as to support future purchases.

Based in San Francisco and New York, Activate will  continue to operate as an independent brand as part of the Next 15 Network. Its current senior management, including co-founder and CEO Ed Grossman and co-founder and president Martha Schwartz, will continue to run the business.

Tim Dyson, chief executive officer of Next15, said: "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."

Grossman and Schwartz, added: "Next 15 is at the forefront of B2B tech marketing and its belief in data, technology and content is fundamentally aligned with our strategy. We are looking forward to this next chapter for Activate."