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Centaur Media snaps up Oystercatchers in £3.35m deal

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By John Glenday | Reporter

September 21, 2016 | 2 min read

Centaur Media has agreed to acquire Oystercatchers, a consultancy helping brands to boost their marketing performance, for £3.35m in a deal expected to conclude on 1 October.

The takeover will allow Centaur to augment its own Econsultancy business and other marketing assets such as Marketing Week to create a new global business in the marketing sector.

£2.2m will be paid to Oystercatcher upon completion of the deal, with the remainder taking the form of a deferred contribution being contingent on certain conditions being met through to 31 March 2017.

Oystercatchers will move to Centaur’s London offices in October and will continue to operate as an independent unit, reporting directly to the publisher's chief executive Andria Vidler. The consultancy's team structure will remain the same, with co-founders Suki Thompson and Peter Cowie continuing to lead the business alongside equity partners Richard Robinson and Angus Crowther. The full team of project managers, consultants and trainers will also remain on board, according to the business.

As part of the deal, Thompson gains additional responsibilities by joining Centaur's executive committee .

Of the acquisition of her business, Thompson said: “Over the last eight years, Oystercatchers has constantly evolved to lead the marketing industry from pitch intermediary to a broader marketing speciality consultancy. Our purchase by Centaur is the next stage in this journey to help us truly accelerate marketing performance across many more brands worldwide.”

Oystercatchers was founded in 2008, growing in that time to achieve turnover of £3.4m in the year to 31 March 2016, from which it made a profit before tax of £0.6m with assets of £1.1m.

“Both businesses address the same target market – senior Chief Marketing Officers – and there is little client overlap today," explained Andria Vidler, chief executive of Centaur.

"The combination of our two businesses offers an opportunity to cross-sell complimentary products and services and importantly enable both to help brands impact performance with marketing excellence.”

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