John Harrington
Jul 3, 2022

Hotwire makes double acquisition worth $37.5m

Enero Group has announced a double acquisition for Hotwire worth a total of US$37.5m in cash and shares. The move will see the tech comms and marketing agency operate its first owned offices in Asia.

L-R: Anol Bhattacharya, CEO of GetIT; Heather Kernahan, global CEO of Hotwire; Brent Scrimshaw, CEO of Enero Group; and Matt Quirie, CEO of ROI DNA
L-R: Anol Bhattacharya, CEO of GetIT; Heather Kernahan, global CEO of Hotwire; Brent Scrimshaw, CEO of Enero Group; and Matt Quirie, CEO of ROI DNA

The acquisition of San Francisco-based b2b digital marketing agency ROI DNA, and b2b tech marketing agency GetIT, based in offices across Asia, follows a new $50m funding arrangement with Australian bank Westpac agreed on 23 June.

Enero said the acquisitions will complement Hotwire’s 2021 acquisition of McDonald Butler Associates in the UK, and "allow the teams to rapidly scale services to innovative technology companies in North America and APAC, navigating complex reputation issues, building business-impacting stakeholder relationships, and delivering revenue growth on a larger scale".

ROI DNA has more than 150 employees in North America and is said to have generated more than $12bn in revenue for clients that include AWS Marketplace, Loom, Cockroach Labs, Elastic, and Salesforce. The acquisition was funded with a cash payment of $26.4m and $6.6m in Enero shares.

The acquisition of GetIT will see Hotwire launch its own office network across Asia, with offices in Singapore, India, Malaysia and Japan. The agency works with high-profile tech brands including AWS, Oracle, Fortinet, Fujitsu, Cisco, Google Cloud and Trend Micro. The total acquisition cost was $4.5m ($2.7m in cash and $1.8m in Enero shares).

Following the acquisitions, ROI DNA becomes ROI DNA, a Hotwire Company, and GetIT is renamed GetIT, a Hotwire Company. The ROI DNA and GetIT leadership teams, led by CEOs Matt Quirie and Anol Bhattacharya respectively, will remain in place.

The acquisitions take Hotwire's global workforce to more than 500 staff in 14 offices globally.

“As a key Enero brand, Hotwire continues to deliver strong momentum, particularly in North America,” said Brent Scrimshaw, CEO of Enero Group. “Adding sophisticated performance marketing capabilities in North America and APAC will create a global network of performance marketing expertise. This will unlock further opportunities for Hotwire to deepen their partnerships with some of the world’s leading technology companies. Combining world class communication skills to expedite reputation, relationships and revenue, these acquisitions will continue to accelerate Enero’s growth trajectory and positioning as a creative technology company.”

Heather Kernahan, global CEO of Hotwire, said: "The addition of ROI DNA and GetIT to our portfolio allows us to accelerate our reputation, relationship, and revenue services globally while adding performance marketing to provide a unique marketplace offering which we believe is the key to success in the current tech landscape.”

Quirie said: “We started ROI DNA to drive ginormous results for our clients and to create a differentiated culture that asks each person to bring their whole selves, think outside the box, do it right, and have a hell of a lot of fun doing it. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to join forces with Hotwire to advance both of these missions for seamless, rapid scale.”

Bhattacharya said: “We’ve been able to grow rapidly across Asia with a clear market differentiator of delivering long-term value paired with short-term results. Now, we’re excited to expand our horizons and partner with global teams and opportunities at Hotwire.”

Australian-listed Enero said today the initial acquisition payments will be funded by a $50m, three-year revolving bank facility established with Westpac on 23 June. As at 31 May, Enero had a cash balance of $41.7m for "future acquisition and capital management flexibility".

In a trading update in June, Enero said it expects year-on-year revenue growth to reach 20 per cent in the 12 months to June 2022, with growth accelerating in the second half of its financial year.

In addition to Hotwire, Enero owns digital agency Orchard; creative agency BMF; programmatic marketing platform OBMedia; and issues management comms advisory CPR. It previously owned UK PR agency Frank until a management buy-out last year.

Source:
PRWeek

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