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ZONE BOOSTS GROWTH PLAN WITH TECH CONSULTANCY BUY

Posted by April 28, 2015
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Zone has acquired Conversion Science, a leading technology and software development consultancy, as part of the digital agency’s ambitious growth strategy.

Already one of the largest independent agencies in the digital marketing sector, the deal will see Zone further enhance its technology capabilities.

Conversion Science is a leader in a range of technologies and platforms including Adobe Experience Manager – part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, a global leader in enterprise marketing platforms – and has a client roster that includes YouGov, the Guardian and Photobox.

The 29 Conversion Science technologists will join Zone’s Umbraco and EPiServer experts to create a technology team of over 70, offering mid-tier and enterprise-level content and experience management system capabilities, along with mobile expertise.

The acquisition sees Zone forecasting a turnover in excess of £18m in 2015 and brings the total number of staff to over 200, including journalists, strategists, creatives, UX designers and video producers. They are currently based across three offices in London, Bristol and Cologne.

Zone will service Conversion Science’s clients alongside its existing domestic relationships, including Tesco, Coca-Cola GB, BT, Barratt Homes and Prostate Cancer UK, as well as its increasing global client roster, which includes Bupa and, following a competitive pitch in January, Coca-Cola.

The co-founders of Conversion Science, Mike Sastry and Paul Chudleigh, will join Zone’s senior management team as production director and international technology director respectively.

In January this year, Zone announced it had taken £6m investment of equity finance from Business Growth Fund (BGF) to fund its expansion strategy.

The acquisition is Zone’s fourth in its 15-year history. It most recently acquired Bristol-based technology consultancy Auros in 2013, while third-sector digital specialist Public Zone was bought in 2012. In 2000 the agency acquired boutique tech consultancy Quantum in a deal that initially brought together Zone’s content capabilities with in-house technology.

James Freedman, the executive chairman of Zone, said: “The acquisition of Conversion Science is a significant step in our ambitious growth plans. It reinforces our belief that great technology underpins everything brands have to do in a digital world. The deal aligns our ambitions around international expansion, data and mobile. It also allows us to enhance our existing deep, long-term strategic relationships with market leaders and global brands. The addition of Mike, Paul and their team will help us continue to develop our market-leading offering, especially with the boost to our Adobe Enterprise Manager expertise.”

Mike Sastry, co-founder of Conversion Science, said: “We have a superb technical team with expertise in many areas including Adobe Experience Manager. We believe combining Conversion Science with Zone’s full-service capability and relationship with blue chip brands offers a great opportunity for Zone’s clients, Conversion Science’s clients and our team.”

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