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Leeds-based B2B marketing firm set to be acquired in £154m deal


Leeds-based Communisis is set to be bought by a US-based payment solutions firm in a deal worth almost £154m.

The B2B marketing communications firm has agreed to a £153.8m cash takeover offer from OSG Bidco Limited, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of OSG Group Holdings Inc.

Under the terms of the deal, investors have been offered 71p per share in cash, a premium of almost 40% of yesterday’s closing price of 50.8p.

Communisis, which has nine UK offices including Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle, reported total revenue of £188.6m for the six months to the end of June – up from £173.5m year on year – with profit before tax up from £6.4m to £6.5m.

It works with clients including Bacardi, Homebase and EE and has operations in 17 countries worldwide, employing over 2,000 staff.

Private equity-owned OSG is a leading independent provider of outsourced omnichannel billing, critical communications and payment solutions, working with around 5,400 multi-sector clients.

It has made 17 acquisitions since 2013 and is forecasting revenue of $260m and $64m in EBITDA in 2018.

Communisis chairman David Gilbertson

Communisis chairman David Gilbertson said: “Communisis has achieved great success as a leading provider of integrated B2B solutions for regulated transactional communication and marketing execution. Its strategic and operational development over the last decade has translated into strong financial performances and shareholder value creation.

“Whilst the Communisis Board believes that the business would have a promising future as an independent listed company, a combination with OSG will provide Communisis with the scale, global presence and digital technology capabilities to ensure it remains at the forefront of its industry and maximises its future potential.”

Scott Bernstein, Chairman and CEO of OSG, said the deal was an “important step in building one of the largest and most competitive outsourced customer communications platforms serving businesses globally”.

The acquisition is subject to 75% agreement by the Communisis shareholders. Should it go through, the deal should be finalised by December.

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