Entrepreneurs don’t come much more serial than former Engine boss Peter Scott and now his current venture, AIM-listed Be Heard, is about to make its second acquisition: website and apps design agency MMT Digital. Scott is paying £5m up front with a £20m maximum price.
Be Heard bought media agency Agenda21 for £11.9m in November.
At Engine Scott tried to build a group based around traditional agency WCRS (which he co-founded), bolting on digital and content creators. Be Heard seems to be putting digital first although such groups tend to change personality as opportunities emerge. WPP started by buying a gaggle of design agencies until J. Walter Thompson presented itself as an undervalued plum.
The original WCRS morphed into media buying group Aegis when it bought the French network Carat. Engine was sold to Lake Capital last year for about £100m.
The MMP deal was brokered by Results International. Results director James Kesner says: “Peter Scott is nothing if not bold. Not content to sit back after a long and prestigious career in the industry, he’s out there as an agent of disruption. His mini-holding company, Be Heard, is positioning itself as a new choice for mid-sized digital businesses who are keen to avoid selling to the usual suspects.
“Every now and then the tectonic plates in our industry shift. This is such a time with the likes of IT services companies and management consultants entering the fray. And Scott is in good company as the likes of You & Mr Jones and Hakuhodo Kyu are all busy building future-proofed businesses that are fit for purpose in a world where technology ruthlessly brings down silos.”