Framfab buys Oyster Partners in £12m deal to create leading UK digital agency

LONDON - International interactive agency Framfab has acquired London-based Oyster Partners in a £12m deal, a move that will create the largest full-service digital agency in the UK.

Framfab is paying £10m in cash and £2m in shares for Oyster Partners, which will create a company employing 460 staff, with 200 of them in the UK.

The operations of Oyster Partners and Framfab UK will be fully integrated following the acquisition. The merger is expected to increase sales by 35%-40% in 2005 at group level and, from the second quarter 2006, the group hopes to make cost savings of up to £1m.

Framfab CEO Steve Callaghan said: "We are all very excited by the opportunity to both offer Oyster clients a more international platform from which to deliver business value, with the support of local on the ground resources across multiple countries."

The integrated UK business will be run by a combination of each business's management, with Luke Taylor, CEO of Oyster Partners, taking the role of managing director of the combined UK business with immediate effect.

Taylor said: "This deal is about growth and the consolidation of our leadership position. We do not plan any head count reduction across any of our service lines."

He adds: "Additionally the transaction delivers significant balance sheet stability and will help us qualify for some of the larger opportunities in the marketplace today."

Oyster Partners was founded in 1995 as a website design agency, but has expanded to become a full-service interactive agency with revenues of £10.2m in 2004.

Framfab works for clients including Kraft, American Express, the Coca-Cola Company and Volvo. It has offices in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK, and is listed on the Stockholm bourse.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

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