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Merkle scales up in Europe

Aquila Insight sold to US marketing agency

Staying put: John Brodie, left, and Warwick Beresford-Jones

Aquila Insight, the Edinburgh and London based data analytics specialist, has been acquired by US marketing agency Merkle.

Co-founders John Brodie and Warwick Beresford-Jones will continue to run the business, reporting to Merkle Europe president Tim Berry.

Its clients include Royal Bank of Scotland, Sony Mobile and Tesco Bank for whom it develops predictive analytics, media mix optimisation, digital analytics, and CRM strategy.

Merkle said the takeover, for an undisclosed sum, will take its European headcount to more than 850. The company will be branded Merkle Aquila.

It is the company’s second European acquisition this year, following its purchase of Spain-based, digital analytics consultancy Divisadero in April.

David Williams, president and chief executive of Merkle, based in Columbia, Maryland, said: “The Aquila Insight team has a great approach to building, growing, and delivering impactful results for their clients through the use of sophisticated analytical methods.

“As we continue to expand our footprint in Europe, predictive analytics needs to be at the heart of our growth strategy, and Aquila will boost our capabilities in this area. The acquisition of Aquila is an important and exciting opportunity to accelerate our data leadership in the UK.”

Mr Berry said the acquisition would have “an immediate and material impact” on the group’s growth and client retention.

Mr Beresford-Jones added: “From the first meeting with David and Tim, it was clear that Merkle and Aquila have very similar DNA and shared viewpoints on how data should be used.

“It feels like the perfect home for Aquila and our team to develop and grow.”

Mr Brodie said: “We have huge aspirations to grow Aquila in the wider market and being part of Merkle will allow us to reach our potential. We are passionate about analytics driving actions, and being part of Merkle will put Aquila at the heart of the action.”

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