Stockport tech firm acquires leading US promotions company in $25m deal

David Prior's picture

Stockport-based Afin Technologies is set to become a big player in the North American marketing and promotions market after acquiring Entertainment, the leading provider of local and national price promotions in the US and Canada.

The deal, which is understood to be in the region of $25million, will see Afin take over operation of Entertainment, which connects businesses to consumers with promotional offers via physical coupons and through a mobile app.

Entertainment Publications LLC - best known in the States for its large coupon book - currently employs 77 people and is based in Troy, Michigan.

As part of the deal, Afin will also take on fresh investment from Deepbridge Capital in the UK and other US-based investors.

This will support the creation of 50 new jobs in Michigan and 10 new jobs in Stockport.

Entertainment, known for its fat coupon books, employs 77 people at its base in Michigan

The deal follows the US-only launch of Afin’s app Buxbo, which offers a fresh take on the popular American pastime of ‘couponing’ – collecting coupons to save as much money as possible on shopping and meals out. By acquiring Entertainment, Afin consolidates its place in the mobile couponing market.

Buxbo complements Entertainment’s traditional coupon-based discounts by offering targeted promotions. It puts the right offers to the right hands, at the right place and time, to help restaurants and retailers develop more loyal customer bases. Buxbo lets a business launch a new offer within seconds, and run it for as little as a day, or as long as a year or more.

Afin Technologies was founded in Stockport — initially under the name SurveyMe — before expanding to open an office in Newport Beach, California, where founders Lee and Nicola Evans are now based. The new jobs will bring the total number of employees at the company in Stockport to 19.

Lee Evans, CEO of Afin Technologies, said: “SurveyMe started in our spare bedroom in Stockport and we took our first steps of growth in the town. Now under the name Afin Technologies we’re excited to be sharing our expansion in the States with our hometown.”

Ian Warwick, managing partner at Deepbridge Capital, added: “We are delighted to continue to support Afin Technologies on this next step of their journey. The acquisition of Entertainment promises to be great news for both parties, with the creation of new jobs and the introduction of a dynamic approach to the coupon market.”

Afin's chief commercial officer, Mike Stolarski, who previously worked at Entertainment for 15 years, will be based at Entertainment's headquarters in Michigan. The Entertainment brand name will be retained under the new management team.

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