US new-media agency Xceed (www.xceed.com) has gained a foothold in
the UK following its $75 million purchase of London-based counterpart
methodfive (www.methodfive. com).
Xceed is funding the deal with around $70.5 million in stock and $4.5
million cash and, according to a spokesman, will now move into the top-10
list of global new-media specialists by size.
Amory Hall, managing director of methodfive in London, said: ”This deal
gives us everything that we would have gained through an IPO in a year
without any of the uncertainties of where the market might be
He added: ”It means we get a great business partner with zero duplication
and overlap in core skills, plus the investment to grow in emergent areas,
such as intra/extranets and e-marketing.”
According to Hall, the merger takes Xceed by revenue and headcount to
around number five or six in terms of global new-media agencies, but it
intends to expand still further. ”This is an ambitious company that wants
to scale up very fast and establish a dominant position with global
brands,” he said. ”Methodfive has excellent partnerships which come
together with Xceed’s to ultimately mean that we can help it to deliver a
service that much faster.”
Methodfive was founded in 1995 and specialises in media, publishing,
healthcare and retail, with annual revenues of $20 million. In October
1999, accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers took a significant stake in
the agency in return for providing access to a global pool of management
and technical talent.
Its client list includes The Economist Group, The New York Times
Corporation, Warner Lambert, Fox Networks, BBC Worldwide, Oxford Health
Group, CDNOW and EW Scripps.
The combined group employs around 500 people.