Green Square advises Shopper Media Group on its acquisition by Next 15

10th April 2021

We are delighted to have advised predictive data-led business Shopper Media Group (SMG) and its subsidiaries – Capture Marketing, Lobster Agency, and Threefold Agency on their acquisition by Next 15.

Based in London, Manchester and Liverpool and employing 115 staff, SMG, which includes subsidiaries Capture Marketing, Lobster Agency and Threefold Agency, specialises in data-led commerce marketing activation, connecting retailers and brands with shoppers at the point of purchase both online and in-store.  Utilising its proprietary technology IP, SMG is able to help its customers determine and activate the optimum media spend, subsequently creating and delivering campaigns across a multitude of channels.

Clients span household-name retailers such as The Very Group and Co-op right through to global FMCG groups including Unilever, Pepsico and Danone.

Led by CEO Sam Knights, who prior to SMG was with P&G, and founded by Matt Lee and Joel Hopwood in 2008, both ex-Dunnhumby, all will remain with the business as will its talented senior management team.  SMG will continue to operate as an independent brand within the Next 15 Group.

The initial consideration for the acquisition is approximately £15.7m plus an additional top-up payment based on the EBITDA performance of SMG for the current financial year to 30 September. For the prior year SMG reported sales of £35m, net revenues of £8.9m and adjusted profit before tax of £3.5m.

Further deferred consideration is payable in 2023 and 2025 based on the future EBITDA performance of SMG.

Tim Dyson, CEO, of Next 15, commented:

Next 15 believes that the future of marketing is tied to the growth agenda of the organisation.  As such we need to offer our customers a collection of products and services that will enable them to drive growth.  As the world of retail evolves and looks for new ways to reach customers it needs strategic partners that have the technologies, data science and skills to drive the necessary programmes.  Shopper Media Group has developed an innovative set of predictive, data-driven tools that enable customers to optimize their spend to drive the strongest levels of growth. We are very excited to have them as a part of the family and see a range of opportunities for them to collaborate with other parts of the Group”

Sam Knights, CEO, of Shopper Media Group, commented:

 SMG has been leading the way in connected commerce marketing for the past 12 years, building data-driven tools for brands and retailers to unlock real value at the point of consideration and purchase. We are very excited about all the opportunities that becoming part of the Next 15 family will bring, not least allowing us to further develop our service for our current clients whilst expanding SMG’s successful model globally.

Taking your business to market is a big decision and we were uncertain about many aspects of what lay ahead. However, what set Green Square apart was their promise that they would find us the right acquirer, not just any acquirer. And they certainly lived up to that promise.

They took the time to understand our business, our people and our culture and, as a result, found a partner in Next 15 who are not only a brilliant strategic fit, but also a strong cultural fit too. They guided us through each stage with a high degree of professionalism but also a lot of wit – which built up a lot of trust in the relationship and meant that when push came to shove, we knew we’d absolutely made the right choice in getting them in our corner.

I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them. In our eyes, they are the best around”

Tony Walford, Partner, Green Square, commented:

“Sam, Matt and Joel were very clear on the attributes they needed in a partner to augment their business, extend market access and the importance of chemistry. In Next 15 they have found exactly that – a true meeting of minds and excitement on both sides as to what the future can bring. The SMG team were a joy to work with, smart, funny and truly collaborative and we really enjoyed working with both sides to develop a structure that is highly motivational and rewarding for all parties. We’re looking forward to seeing both SMG and Next 15 scale new heights”

Shopper Media Group