Centaur Media acquires Oystercatchers

Marketing Week and Econsultancy owner buys brand consultancy to “provide an international leading consultancy in the marketing sector”

centaur media oystercatchers
Marketing Week owner Centaur Media has bought brand consultancy Oystercatchers

Marketing Week and Econsultancy owner Centaur Media has bought brand consultancy Oystercatchers in a deal that could be worth up to £3.35m.

Centaur says Oystercatchers will build on the work of Econsultancy in particular. Econsultancy was acquired by Centaur in 2012 and offers research, data, analysis, training and consulting services designed to improve marketers’ digital skills and expertise.

“The two businesses will together provide aligned services to marketing clients that improve marketing capability and performance,” Centaur says, adding that it hopes the deal will “provide an international leading consultancy in the marketing sector”. Opportunities exist to cross-sell services to more clients in more territories with Centaur’s US platform “particularly relevant to Oystercatchers’ existing and future clients”, Centaur adds.

Oystercatchers was founded by Suki Thompson and Peter Cowie in 2008. Turnover has grown from £1.1m in the year to 31 March 2012 to £3.4m in the year to 31 March 2016. It offers clients consultancy on marketing models, partnerships and pitches as well as training services.

Clients include Barclays, Avis and Camelot. It also runs regular Oystercatchers Club events in London that see senior marketers and agency chiefs take part in panels tackling strategic challenges such as the dynamics of effective partnerships.

READ MORE: Suki Thompson, Oystercatchers: Marketers, we need to talk about stress

Oystercatchers’ senior management team – Thompson, Cowie, Angus Crowther, Richard Robinson and Vladimir Komanicky – will remain with the business. Thompson will join the Centaur Executive Committee from 1 October 2016.

Andria Vidler, CEO of Centaur Media, says: “This acquisition is a win-win for our businesses. The combination will enable Centaur to become the ‘go-to’ provider for brands seeking to drive their marketing performance.”

Oystercatchers’ Thompson adds: “Oystercatchers has evolved into one of the leading specialist marketing consultancies in Europe. Joining Centaur is another stage on this journey and will help us take our expertise to many more brands globally. We are excited to be joining Centaur.”

Centaur is paying up to £3.35m for Oystercatchers of which £2.2m is payable on completion of the deal, expected by 1 October following consultation with Oystercatchers employees. The rest is dependant on factors including Oystercatchers’ earnings for the 12 months to 31 March 2017.