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Next Fifteen Communications picks up predictive analytics firm Planning-Inc

The AIM 100 digital communications firm said it had acquired Planning-Inc for around £6.3mln to be settled with £5.4mln in cash and the issue of 187,943 Next Fifteen shares

Predictive Analytics
Planning Inc's clients have included Argos, M&S, Halfords, and Sony

Next Fifteen Communications Group Plc (LON:NFC) has acquired predictive analytics and data marketing business, Planning-Inc Limited.

The AIM 100 digital communications firm said it had acquired Planning-Inc for around £6.3mln to be settled with £5.4mln in cash and the issue of 187,943 Next Fifteen shares.

READ: Next Fifteen hikes dividend as half-year profits rise by a quarter

A further deferred contingent consideration may also be payable around April 2019 with a top-up payment based on Planning-Inc’s earnings (EBITDA) performance for 2018, and also around April 2021 and 2023 based on the yearly performance in those periods.

The maximum total consideration is expected to be £15mln.

Next Fifteen added that it expected the acquisition to be earnings accretive in the 2020 fiscal year, the first full year of ownership.

Planning-Inc, whose clients have included companies such as Argos, Marks & Spencer, Halfords, and Sony, reported pre-tax profits for 2017 of £1.3mln and gross assets of £2.7mln.
Next Fifteen also said Planning-Inc’s senior management team would continue to lead the business.

Tim Dyson, chief executive of Next Fifteen, said that Planning-Inc’s focus on using “data science and analytics to inform and design great marketing programmes” fitted “beautifully” in the group’s strategy of investing in technology and data-driven marketing.

In a note to clients, analysts at broker Peel Hunt said the acquisition added "strong data science capabilities to the group, which is in high demand in today's market".

Analysts also commented that Planning-Inc "should benefit from Next 15's strong client network to further grow its business", while Next Fifteen itself was expected to make "more acquisitions...for the remainder of 2019; in particular to further add to their data and marketing technology expertise".

--Adds broker comment--

Quick facts: Next Fifteen Communications Group PLC

Price: 537.5556 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £465.27 m

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on 1/10/19

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