NEWS12 July 2017

Next 15 buys Circle Research for £5.2m

B2B M&A News UK

UK – Only a day after the announcement that Next 15 had bought Velocity Partners, the digital communications group has made its second B2B acquisition with the purchase of B2B market research agency, Circle Research.

Circle research next 15_crop

The deal was done through Next 15’s data and insights subsidiary, MIG Global and is worth £5.21 million – consisting of an upfront payment of £3.01m and £2.2 of net assets acquired.

Of the initial payment, £4.94m will be cash and the rest shares with further payment possible depending on 2019 and 2020 profits.

Circle was founded by David Willan, Andrew Dalglish and Beth Pearson in 2006. Dalglish and Pearson will remain joint managing directors. Willan will step down as chairman but will remain as an advisor.

Its clients include Vodafone, Google, Mastercard, BSI, SITA, Maersk and Facebook.

Circle reported net revenues of £2.24m and adjusted profit before tax of £1.01m for the year ended 31 March 2017. Circle will be acquired debt-free.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15, said: “Next 15 is committed to building a deep data and insight capability at its core. Circle is an important step in that strategy and a powerful addition to the MIG data and insights offering.”

Pearson added: “We’re confident that joining MIG and Next 15 is a positive move for Circle’s clients and team. MIG share our core values – great work, delighted clients and happy people – and will enhance our offering by bringing cutting-edge research technology and an on-the-ground international presence.”

Circle Research won Best Agency under £20m turnover in the Research Live awards last year.