One of Manchester’s most established digital agencies has been acquired by MediaCom for an undisclosed sum.
Code Computerlove was founded in 1999 by Tony Foggett, Louis Georgiou and Wini Tse. They will continue to manage the business in Manchester, and hold a 25% stake in it. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed but reports suggest the value may end up over £10m.
“Over the past few years we have been transforming Code’s offer and operating model to be able to help our clients behave more like startups, continually iterating to create brilliant digital experiences that keep them ahead of their competition,” explained Foggett.
“We are both businesses that focus on measurable value creation, we just come at this from different parts of the customer journey. Like Code, MediaCom is focused on outcomes, with data and the consumer at the centre of their decision-making, we have always found we are able to create far more effective platforms for our clients when acquisition and conversion are integrated. We already have shared clients and look forward to expanding this further.”
MediaCom Manchester’s managing director, Paul Cooper will now take overall responsibility for Code.
“The acquisition strengthens our ability to provide an offering that is unrivalled in the UK for both scale and sophistication in delivering across the whole marketing ecosystem, and cements MediaCom’s place as industry leaders in the digital space,” he stated.
“In the last four years we have more than doubled the size of our business and this acquisition gives us a platform to do the same over the next four years.
“I am delighted to welcome Code into the MediaCom family. This is an incredibly successful and well run business that is a perfect fit for both our offering and our client base. I am thoroughly looking forward to working with Tony, Louis, Wini and the rest of the team.”
Code employs 85 staff at its central Manchester base and was number 12 in Prolific North’s Top 50 Digital Agencies. Code does not file full accounts and its abbreviated accounts at Companies House for the year ending December 2015 showed shareholders funds of £1.172m up from £1.151m the previous year.
The three shareholders each owned 33.34% of the equity pre acquisition.
MediaCom North is a subsidiary of WPP plc.
WPP has several operations based in the North including MediaCom’s media agency stablemate MEC, creative agency Cheetham Bell, studio and post production company Farm North and research company Kantar.
MediaCom North has grown rapidly in recent years aided by an assets only acquisition of Brilliant Media. For the year to December 2015, the agency reported profits of £5.85m on sales of £210m. Six years ago (y/e 12/2010), the agency reported profits of £2m on £98m sales.
“We couldn’t be prouder of the reputation we have sustained over the last 17 years. Being part of the MediaCom Group will help us step up a gear as a business, creating fantastic opportunities for us, our staff and our clients,” added Louis Georgiou.
“On a personal level, I will relish the learning opportunities that come with being part of a successful global network and I look forward to working with Paul and the team.”