Birmingham-based Inspired Thinking Group has acquired retail software firm Total Marketing Services in a deal backed by £3.2 million of investment by ISIS Equity Partners.
Catalyst Corporate Finance acted as lead adviser on the development capital fund raising for the acquisition.
Inspired Thinking Group (ITG) provides services that help marketing departments improve the efficiency of their operations using the latest digital and data technologies.
Simon Ward, chief executive of ITG, said: “ITG is a dynamic, ambitious business that is pushing back the boundaries of traditional marketing.
“To do this we need an agile business culture and ISIS have supported this culture superbly. Together, we will grow ITG into a market leader.”
Charlie Robinson of ISIS added: “Simon and his team have successfully combined their industry experience with a fresh and responsive approach to the challenges faced by their customers.
“They learn by solving problems for customers.
“The acquisition of TMS represents the first stage on an exciting new phase of growth for the business.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with them.”
ISIS were introduced to the business by Richard Sanders, partner at Catalyst Corporate Finance.
He said: “Our initial brief was to identify potential acquisition targets in defined markets and understand how they would contribute to the overall strategy.
“Throughout this initial period we met with at least 10 potential businesses that could have been suitable acquisition opportunities.”
Catalyst said Total Marketing Services (TMS) stood out as the preferred target for ITG to acquire.
The business had developed an online software proposition for the retail market and had successfully launched the product to a number of well-known retailers.
Catalyst then worked with the owners of TMS to formulate a deal structure that satisfied their expectations and was acceptable to ITG and their potential funders.
“Having agreed the deal we then set about securing the finance for the transaction and introducing the company to a limited number of funders with experience in this sector,” said Mr Sanders.
“The final outcome of this was to proceed with ISIS Equity Partners who had proven experience in both business services and the IT sector and were keen to support the business with its future growth plans.”
Inspired Thinking Group was formed in 2009 by Simon Ward, following his acquisition and integration of three independent marketing services businesses.
Since then Ward and his team have used their knowledge and experience of the sector to gain some significant client accounts including Marks & Spencer, Punch Taverns and KFC.