International IT consulting company Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) has acquired a Hong Kong-based e-commerce public company called Acquity Group for around $316 million. Acquity Group is known for focusing on strategy, digital marketing, and social media services. Acquity Group has several large clients like Allstate Insurance Company, the mobile-related business for Discover Card, Tommy Bahama, and Shimano. Accenture will be merging Acquity into their existing Accenture Interactive business.
Accenture intends to merge the new subsidiary into its existing Accenture Interactive business. Accenture’s purchase price of $13 per American Depositary Share of Acquity group represents a large premium of the company’s $5.96 share price that Acquity closed at on Friday. This reaffirms Accenture’s belief that Acquity is largely undervalued. Acquity’s share price shot up 110% to as high as $12.55 per ADS during after-hours trading.
This buyout values Acquity shares at 2.2x the company’s $141 million sales from last year. It is also a 1.8x premium of the company’s valuation of Accenture’s own shares. Fortunately Acquity saw a 32% year-over-year sales growth in 2012.
?Chief marketing officers and brand leaders are looking for a new type of service provider that can blend the creative process with analytics and enabling technologies to engage consumers and deliver compelling user experiences across channels,? stated Accenture Interactive global managing director Brian Whipple. ?The acquisition of Acquity Group will expand our capabilities in key areas of digital marketing and eCommerce, complementing our strengths in strategy, analytics, scaled technology enablement and marketing operations.?
This is Accenture’s second major acquisition this month. Earlier, we wrote about how Accenture acquired a design firm called Fjord.