Cello buys financial services marketing agency

Market research and consultancy specialist Cello Group plc has continued the expansion of its operations after it bought a majority shareholding in a financial services marketing agency.

The group has taken a 76% stake in Hill Murray, the holding company of cchm:ping, following a six-figure deal.

Cello has paid £950,000 for a controlling interest in the business of which £760,000 was satisfied in cash with the balance in more than 127,300 new ordinary shares. cchm:ping will now trade as part of the group’s Response business.

The terms of the agreement include an option for Cello to buy the remaining 24% of the business. The consideration of this further acquisition is conditional upon the financial performance of cchm:ping by the end of 2010. This will be paid in cash, loan notes and new ordinary shares.

This deal continues Cello’s strategy of building a portfolio of research and consultancy businesses capable of advising blue chip companies around the world. It targeted cchm:ping to give more depth to its financial services business.

This is Cello’s fifth acquisition this year following its takeovers of Rosenblatt and Digital People Online in January, The MSI Consultancy in March and Market Research International last month.

cchm:ping, which was established 10 years ago, names Aegon, Bristol & West Mortgages, Legal & General, Nationwide, Lloyds TSB and Scottish Life among its clients. In the year to October 2006, the company made a pre-tax loss of £300,000 from an audited £8 million turnover.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

Related Topics

Market Research