Shoosmiths has advised the sellers on the £40m sale of digital marketing agency Realise to St Ives, a UK provider of marketing solutions and publishing services.
Realise has been acquired on a cash and debt-free basis, for £21.7m on completion, satisfied by approximately £18.4m in cash and approximately 1.7 million St Ives shares. Further consideration of up to £18.3m may be payable (to be satisfied 85 per cent in cash and 15 per cent in shares) dependent on incremental financial performance for the years ending 30 September 2014 and 2015.
Based in Edinburgh and London, with nearly 100 employees, Realise has expertise in a range of digital capabilities, from digital strategy and creative to technology and production. The agency has particular strength in financial services and media, with clients including AXA, Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Life Investments, as well as Google and Channel 4.
Following the acquisition, Realise will operate as a subsidiary of St Ives, continuing to be managed from its current locations by the existing management team, including chief executive officer Tony Murphy and Andy Lamond.
The acquisition by St Ives is a continuation of its strategy to create a complementary range of digital and marketing services that will add further value to existing and new clients. The deal is intended to enhance St Ives’ digital capabilities following the acquisitions, in 2013, of Amaze and Branded3.
Edinburgh-based corporate partner Alison Gilson led the Shoosmiths team, assisted by Jen Paton on the corporate side, Steve Dougherty on Scottish property aspects, Andrew Pattinson on English property, Tom Wilde on tax and Karen Harvie on employment.