Epiphany acquired by Jaywing in £18m deal

Epiphany, the Leeds and London based search marketing agency, has been acquired by Jaywing in a deal worth around £18m.

The agency has been acquired to strengthen Jaywing’s digital services offering, with £11m being paid in cash, alongside a deferred payment of £1m and an earn-out consideration of up to £6m, paid over two instalments over the coming two years, depending on the agency’s performance.

Founders Rob Shaw, Robin Skidmore and Shane Quigley will remain with the agency, with Shaw continuing to head it up as group CEO and Skidmore focusing on its social public relations offer, Shackleton. Meanwhile Quigley will take on a product development role within the new parent company, and head up Epiphany’s growing Australian business operation.

Martin Boddy, CEO of Jaywing, said: “This ambitious acquisition is another big step forward in our reinvention. By focusing on digital opportunities to marry data science with brand, acquisition and customer marketing, we will achieve superior results for our clients and better experiences for their customers. Epiphany is a vital piece in our jigsaw as it will provide our unrivalled team of over 50 data scientists with access to the digital data which will fuel our innovation.”

Shaw added: “We’ve always prided ourselves on being the first to innovate in search, and this deal represents the next evolution; connecting Jaywing’s expertise in data science with our heritage in content marketing, global paid search and website optimisation. There are also large client bases to tap into, so all in all this creates a tremendous opportunity for everyone.”

Epiphany, a member of The Drum Network, was founded in 2005 and works with clients such as Virgin Holidays, Tesco, AXA Insurance and Pets at Home. It’s last full-year results, ending 31 January 2013, saw it generate a pre-tax profit of £1.43m and hold gross assets worth £2.34m.

Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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