JAYWING plc, the listed digital marketing group, has bought Leeds-based search engine specialist Epiphany in an £18million deal.
The Sheffield company, whose shareholders include Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, said the acquisition will strengthen its performance in search marketing.
Jaywing said Epiphany will also help further its use of big data in marketing across different channels.
Martin Boddy, chief executive of Jaywing, said: “This ambitious acquisition is another big step forward in our reinvention.
“By focusing on digital opportunities to marry data science with brand, acquisition and customer marketing, we will achieve superior results for our clients and better experiences for their customers.
“Epiphany is a vital piece in our jigsaw as it will provide our unrivalled team of more than 50 data scientists with access to the digital data which will fuel our innovation.”
Shane Quigley and Robin Skidmore founded Epiphany in 2005. They will remain as employees, along with CEO Rob Shaw, said Jaywing.
Epiphany is one of the largest players in UK search marketing with clients including Tesco, AXA and Pets at Home.
Jaywing is buying Epiphany for an initial consideration of £12m in cash, with an extra £6m available over the next two years.