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Karma Communications acquires Crayon to work alongside Karmarama

Crayon senior partners: Matthew Brown,Justin Hicklin & Mark Runacus

The Karma Communications Group has today announced the acquisition of the Crayon group, the leading UK-based digital communications agency.

Following the acquisition, Crayon will now work alongside independent integrated advertising agency Karmarama.

Charles Watson, chairman of the Karma Communications Group, said: “Today marks the next milestone in the development of the Karma Communications group. The combination of the creative capabilities of Karmarama with Crayon’s data-driven digital expertise will enable us to service the ever-increasing requirements of our clients’ brands across the full extent of the customer journey.

“We look forward in the near future to announcing the next steps in Karma Communications’ development, with the strong support of our investment partner, Phoenix. In the meantime, I am delighted to welcome the Crayon senior team as colleagues and co-shareholders in Karma Communications.”

The Karma Communications Group is owned jointly by Phoenix Equity Partners and its senior management team, and consists of Karmarama and sister agencies Kream and Kaper.

Justin Hicklin of Crayon added: “We have grown dramatically over the last decade from our origins as a direct marketing and sales promotion agency into the data driven digital agency of today. We wanted to continue that aggressive development within the UK and internationally, and felt it was time to identify the best partners to help realise our ambition. One of the challenges we have faced is finding the best way of accessing capital to continue investing in our growth, whilst retaining the independence and entrepreneurialism that is so central to the culture of our business.

“Today’s news provides the perfect solution and we are thrilled to be joining our new like-minded colleagues. By becoming a key component of Karma Communications, I am confident that the opportunities which will arise for our people and clients alike are substantial.”

Ben Bilboul CEO of Karmarama said: “On behalf of all my colleagues at Karamarama, Kream and Kaper, I am delighted to welcome into our extended family all our new colleagues from across the Crayon businesses. Crayon has an extremely sophisticated, data-driven understanding of customer behavior, which we fully intend to put at the heart of our creative development process. It’s a perfect marriage of art and science that we believe will better serve today’s clients and their customers.”

Jim Houghton, partner at Results International, who advised on the deal, said: “The Crayon Group has been on an exciting journey in recent years. It has built a truly data-driven digital offering that makes it a compelling proposition both for clients and potential partners.

“The creation of the Karma Communications Group through this transaction is a landmark event and Results International is proud to have worked closely with the management team of Crayon on its strategic development over the last three years building towards this and in completing the deal itself.

“Significant new platform businesses are formed very rarely and joining the Karma Communications Group therefore represents a unique opportunity for Crayon management to enter into a vibrant new integrated business and to play a key role in determining its future and growing its value.

“The Karma Communications Group is one of the most interesting, integrated offerings we have seen launching into the sector for some years and has the potential to do things differently and really shake up the market.”

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