The CEO of a Manchester-based digital marketing agency has revealed they’re looking at snapping up three potential targets

In 2021 mmadigital secured funding from Rockpool Investments and is actively looking to accelerate its growth through acquisition.

CEO Dez Derry told TechBlast’s latest Going 4 Growth roundtable: “In terms of the number of staff we’re got between 75-80. Our turnover is on a run rate of £20m. The ambition a few years ago was to hit £30m by 2025. That’s been accelerated because of the investment from Rockpool, which was one of the reasons why I wanted to get on the private equity route.

“They’ve given us funding for M&A so we’ve got a number of conversations in the pipeline. If one of them drops, that’s a £10m turnover business. I’m hoping that if we can get that over the line by the end of 2023 I’ll have achieved my personal dream and goal of hitting £30m.”

The company’s  technology and industry-leading cross-channel marketing teams connect active customers with businesses looking to grow, providing marketing and qualified leads.

Derry said having Rockpool onboard had been vital in trying to make their first acquisition.

“During the deal process, at the back end of last year, Rockpool were already working with me before we’d completed to do some market mapping,” said Derry.

“I’ve never personally done an acquisition before so we have three potential ones at different stages. One is coming quite close to exchanging. It’s sub £5m turnover. It’s got 10 staff and we think that the platform would really enhance the earnings and the credibility of that business.

“We’re trying to go small first, get it right, integrate it, make sure we don’t make a dog’s dinner of it before we tackle a big one. The one that we’re looking at is £10m and a similar size to us.

“They’ve got offices that aren’t in Manchester so they’re out of the area. The one top tip I would give anyone, which is something I’ve learned in the last six months, is build out that top team like a CFO, COO, CTO, head of people etc.

“We didn’t have any of that but Rockpool have allowed me to invest in recruiting that talent.

“When we did our PE deal our management team was quite light and I really bore the brunt of it. It really takes its toll if you’re trying to run the business, raise money and do a deal.

“Now I’ve got this team of people and I’ve got Rockpool’s support goings into these negotiations to buy businesses. You’ve got the expertise around you and that’s really, really important.”