Is Deloitte eyeing a bid for WCRS owner Engine Group?

Deloitte is eyeing Engine Group according to a report in The Drum, seeing the medium-sized marcoms group as a way of playing catch-up with Accenture’s Accenture Interactive.

Deloitte Digital is currently about half the size of Accenture Interactive with revenues of about $2bn. AI owns Karmarama and The Monkeys.

Engine, then led by Peter Scott who’s now empire building again at Be Heard, grew out of British agency WCRS and currently includes the Partners and Deep Focus, is now owned by US outfit Lake Capital. But it recently hired investment bank Jefferies to canvas buyers.

Engine executive chairman Terry Graunke says: “We continue to execute on a clear strategy which focusses on outstanding client service delivered by best-in-class professionals. We are more than 2,000 strong, with annual revenues of over $450m and a record of delivering award winning work for many of the world’s leading clients..we continue to enjoy being an independent Group with a strong entrepreneurial culture.”

Engine now has a big operation on America’s west coast and, according to Graunke, has revenues of $450m, employing around 2000 people. As such it would be a handy way for Deloitte Digital to expand without becoming a holding company itself. Deloitte bought US agency Heat in 2016 and marketing consultancy Cornerstone earlier this year.

At the same time, Ian Schafer, founder of Engine’s Deep Focus digital agency, has announced he is leaving the business.

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