Next Fifteen buys 75 per cent stake in brand research firm Morar

Digital PR firm Next Fifteen Communications has acquired a 75 per cent stake in Morar, a London-based international market research consultancy, as a prelude to an expected full takeover in 2020.

The initial cost is £1.35m with a further payment of £450,000 due in February depending on the full-year pre-tax profit performance of Morar, which measures and advises on brand performance. The remaining 25 per cent is to be acquired in 2020, subject to Morar’s performance in the preceding two years.

Morar was founded in 2005 by Roger Perowne and Alistair Cunningham, both of whom will remain with the business following the acquisition. The team includes researchers, consultants, strategists and software developers. Morar's client list includes Admiral, Land Securities, Dell, Fitness First, Sky, Nando’s, Pearson, Global Blue and TPG Capital.

Morar generated pre-tax profit of around £500,000 in the nine months to 31 October on turnover of about £1.3m. The value of its net assets has been put at around £900,000.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen, said: "In the last few years Morar has invested in the development of its own technology platform. Morar's approach of combining high level consulting and technology fits with our digital strategy and extends our commitment to the insight and analytics area of marketing."

Roger Perowne, CEO of Morar, said: "We've been looking for an entrepreneurial partner to help us take Morar forward and in Next 15 have found the people, brands and strategy that fit our ambitions perfectly."

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