Associated online acquisitions end

Associated Northcliffe Digital has ruled out making further significant acquisitions in the near future after a busy summer shopping period concluded with its purchase of the SimplySwitch consumer website for £22 million.

Andy Hart, the managing director of AND, said: "We've got all the cornerstone acquisitions and some of the bolt-ons in place. We're still looking for bolt-ons where we don't want to buy, but, while we'll always keep an eye out, we're not actually seeking to make cornerstone acquisitions."

AND's acquisition of SimplySwitch's parent company SimplyEnergy follows a £17 million spree in July, which saw it buy three websites including the car dealer site Auto Exposure. In May, it spent £46.5 million buying the dating website Allegran and the car site Carsource.co.uk.

AND now has core strengths in the online finance, automotive and dating sectors. It plans to build the popularity of SimplySwitch, which provides product and price comparison.

Hart said: "SimplySwitch is a really good, small operation. It's ripe for rapid growth, has a great brand, a great management team and a great call centre and we could see the synergies straight away."

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