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Posted on December 18, 2018 by staff

Newly floated tech group buys digital agency

Newly floated tech services group The Panoply has acquired a London-based digital agency just weeks after joining the AIM market and raising over £5 million.

The Panoply was set up in 2016 with the aim of acquiring specialist technology and innovation consulting businesses across Europe.

It has now agreed to purchase Deeson, a digital agency specialising in high profile content-managed websites and digital products, for a maximum total consideration of up to £3.6 million.

The firm will be integrated into TPX Manifesto, an existing Panoply Group company, and will be rebranded in the coming months.

“The board and I are delighted to announce our first acquisition since listing earlier this month, and in line with our stated strategy we are very pleased to bring another earnings enhancing, debt free, profitable business into the group,” said Neal Gandhi, who is co-founder and CEO of The Panoply.

He added: “It is great to have achieved this early traction against our strategy, and supports our confidence in the Group’s ability to grow quickly going forward.”

In a recent interview with BusinessCloud, Gandhi outlined plans to build geographic clusters of digital transformation companies in the UK and Europe and become “a force to be reckoned with”.

The 51-year-old is a serial tech entrepreneur, having co-founded four companies that exited successfully with a combined value of £117 million.

He co-founded his first business, Jungle.com, at the age of 21 and later sold it to GUS for £37 million. Most recently, he founded offshore IT services provider QuickStart Global, which was listed in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 at number 3.

Deeson, which generated revenues of £2.2 million in its latest financial year, has built a strong position in the media and culture industries, with clients including ITV, Robbie Williams, Royal Collection Trust and the Imperial War Museums.

In a statement, The Panoply said Deeson’s experience will be complementary to Manifesto’s focus on the not-for-profit sector and provide partnership opportunities for both businesses.

The deal was hailed by both Deeson founder and CEO Tim Deeson and Jim Bowes, chief executive of TPX Manifesto.

“Having known Jim Bowes and Manifesto for a long time, over the last 18 months it has been remarkable to see the benefits of their having access to The Panoply,” Deeson said.

“With the status of a listed business and working hand-in-hand with Manifesto, we are confident we will be able to grow our customer base, secure larger deals and effectively grow the team.”

Bowes added: “Their values and way of working fit well with TPX Manifesto’s core aim, to collaborate with exceptional organisations to change things for the better. The work they produce is held in high regard by the industry, and we are excited to work closely with them.”