Edinburgh firm Realise bought by St Ives in £40m deal

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DIGITAL marketing agency Realise, based in Edinburgh, has been bought by publishing services group St Ives in a deal which will make multi-millionaires of the two main shareholders.

St Ives will pay £21.7 million in cash and shares with a further sum of up to £18.4m payable depending on financial performance over the next two years.

Realise, which was launched as an internet café 15 years ago before moving into website consultancy, now employs 97 staff across its Edinburgh and London offices. St Ives said the firm’s existing office and management team would remain in place following the deal.

Realise’s chief executive Tony Murphy, who along with fellow director Andy Lamond was part-owner of the business, said: “With the support of St Ives Group, we can continue to grow both in the UK and internationally by being part of a larger group whilst still retaining our own identity and culture as an independently managed specialist agency.”

Patrick Martell of St Ives said the acquisition would add “substantial depth to our digital offering”.

St Ives said Realise has a long-standing and well-known client base across sectors including entertainment and finance. In the year ended 30 September 2012, Realise generated profits of £1.7m on revenue of £9.7m.