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MSA Digital acquisition is remedy for success at home


A specialist pharmaceutical digital agency has been acquired by Leeds-based home marketing to create a major £20m multi-discipline group.

London-based MSA Digital has been acquired by home marketing in a multi-million pound deal backed by Yorkshire Bank’s Leeds Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) as part of its Investing for Growth initiative.

The acquisition enables home marketing group, Roundhay, to add another specialist agency to its portfolio which already includes advertising, brand, display and digital expertise and take its total staff to more than 90.

MSA Digital, which specialises in digital services for the pharmaceutical industry, expects to increase its £4m turnover to £7m this year (2011). The business supports well-known brands including Astellas, Wyeth, Pfizer and Goldshield and its acquisition opens the door to the vast pharmaceutical industry for the wider home marketing group.

The company will become home digital operating alongside home advertising, home james, home page, CHILLI and The Solution House.

Home marketing group chief executive, Dave Sewards, says: “As most major pharmaceutical companies have products competing in similar markets, effective marketing is a vital element in providing a competitive edge.

“MSA Digital’s considerable talent and knowledge of this industry, combined with our vast experience of brand communication, both online and offline, makes this a fantastic opportunity for both of us.

“The Yorkshire Bank team led by Jim Myles not only helped us with the financial structure of the deal but also gave us great support in terms of business advice.”

MSA Digital managing director, Mary McGregor, says: “We were looking to join forces with an agency group with an energy and desire which matches ours. We had several bids on the table but when home marketing group’s offer came in, it became the only one we wanted to take forward.”

Home marketing, founded in 2002, has a broad international client list covering diverse sectors including gaming and sportsbook, public sector, travel and tourism consumer durables, insurance and financial services. It clients include household names such as Rusell Hobbs, McVities, Butterkist, COI,, Stoves, Belling Mira Showers and Party Poker.

Yorkshire Bank Leeds FSC business partner, Jim Myles, says: “Home marketing is a diverse and dynamic group which recognises the value of acquiring specialist skills. We are pleased to have supported the acquisition of MSA Digital through our Investing for Growth initiative and are certain that the combined businesses will thrive in line with their strategy.”

Legal advice to home marketing group was provided by Irwin Mitchell and financial advice was supplied by RSM Tenon, both of Leeds. The Leeds office of lawyers, Cobbetts LLP, acted for Yorkshire Bank.

Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative enables businesses to take loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms to take advantage of quality growth opportunities. Businesses taking up the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.

Yorkshire Bank’s Leeds FSC, Manor Road, includes more than 80 corporate, commercial and private banking specialists operating in multi-discipline teams encompassing corporate banking, private wealth management, treasury services and credit and operates a traditional method of banking with funding from deposits used to support investments in the local community.

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