Jaywing plc has acquired Leeds-based search specialist, Epiphany.
Epiphany was founded in 2005 by Shane Quigley and Robin Skidmore and is led by Rob Shaw, all of whom will remain employed by the business going forward.
One of the largest players in UK search marketing, it is one of just 30 UK agencies to achieve Certified Google Analytics partner status.
Its clients include a broad range of blue chip companies such as Virgin Holidays, Tesco, AXA Insurance and Pets at Home.
Epiphany has experienced strong growth over the past three years and was named MiNetwork Digital Agency of the Year 2013.
The acquisition will strengthen Jaywing’s performance in search marketing and further its use of “Big Data” science in powering highly creative multi-channel marketing activities.
Following Prolific North’s recent billing of Jaywing at number two in its integrated agency league table, and Epiphany’s second place ranking in the digital league, it will also cement their standing as a major force in the northern marketing scene with a northern contingent of over 270 employees.
Jaywing is also located in London, Newbury, Swindon, and Sydney (Australia), employing more than 600 people in total.
Rob Shaw will continue to head up Epiphany with Robin Skidmore focusing on growing its Social Public Relations proposition, which operates under the Shackleton brand.
Shane Quigley will take on a broader product development role for Jaywing, in addition to retaining responsibility for the fledgling Epiphany Australia business.
Commenting on the deal, Jaywing chief executive Martin Boddy, said:
“This ambitious acquisition is another big step forward in our reinvention.
By focusing on digital opportunities to marry data science with brand, acquisition and customer marketing, we will achieve superior results for our clients and better experiences for their customers.
“Epiphany is a vital piece in our jigsaw as it will provide our unrivalled team of over 50 data scientists with access to the digital data which will fuel our innovation.”
Rob Shaw, Group CEO at Epiphany, said:
“We’ve always prided ourselves on being the first to innovate in search, and this deal represents the next evolution; connecting Jaywing’s expertise in data science with our heritage in content marketing, global paid search and website optimisation.
There are also large client bases to tap into, so all in all this creates a tremendous opportunity for everyone.”
The deal saw Jaywing plc acquire Epiphany for an initial consideration of £12m in cash, with an additional £6m available over the next two years.