Be Heard drops £10m on content marketing agency Kameleon

Kameleon snapped up by Be Heard

Be Heard has acquired content marketing agency Kameleon in a deal worth £10m.

Be Heard, which was formed by former Aegis chief executive Peter Scott in 2015, is among a new breed of holding companies that are promising to shake up the sector.

It has already acquired media buying agency Agenda21 and digital shop MMT for £11.9m and £5m respectively. Earlier this year, Scott said more acquisitions were on the horizon as it looks to “create an agile, interconnected group that operates at the intersection of marketing, technology and commerce."

London-based Kameleon Worldwide counts Danone, Quorn and Lee Cooper among its clients and was named Content Marketing Agency of the Year by The Drum Network in 2015.

"Digital content is a natural next step for Be Heard as we develop our range of services across the digital ecosystem and Kameleon is precisely the sort of agency we want - fast-growing, at the heart of digital transformation and ready to work with us to take their business to the next level,” said Scott.

“Mark, Richard and the team have superb strategic, creative and analytics skills and an impressive client list, all of which will help us as we create the most compelling digital marketing proposition around. We have a very healthy pipeline and hope to update the market with more deals that fit our strict acquisition criteria in due course."

Under the terms of the acquisition, Be Heard will initially pay £4.05m, and then £3m, each year until 2019, subject to gross revenue reaching 110% of the previous year's level. An additional 'stretch' payment will be payable in 2019 if Kameleon achieves sales and EBITDA of at least £8.1m and £1.62m respectively.

For the financial year ended 31 December 2015 Kameleon achieved adjusted EBITDA of £0.530m on gross revenues of £2.43m. In 2016, it is expected to generate gross revenues of £3.89m, representing 60% annual growth, with adjusted EBITDA of £0.785m.

Shares in Be Heard, which floated on the London Stock Exchange last year, rose 8% on the news.

Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is deputy news editor at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in the retail and FMCG sectors. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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