PRESS RELEASE

Digital Next has announced the acquisition of Just Search, one of the founding members of the search industry. This represents a huge step forward for the firm and adds to already remarkable organic growth achieved throughout the UK, Australia and the US.

Justin Blackhurst, CEO at Digital Next said:

We are delighted to announce that we have acquired Just Search and recognise that this is a major step forwards in terms of our business. Now that we are equipped with further specialists, we can offer clients a service to compete with any top London-based agency.

As part of the acquisition, Digital Next has also taken on an investor in the form of Online Group, a public company situated in Sweden. Online Group is one of the leading hosting companies in Scandinavia and Central Europe, with over 700,000 clients, and also offers integrated marketing solutions to companies worldwide. Both transactions were advised on by Paul Cheetham of Manchester-based accountancy firm, Sedulo.

The merger is a perfect fit for both companies. Digital Next brings a scalable search engine optimisation (SEO) model and an abundance of web design and development expertise, while Just Search brings with it additional SEO strategists to complement Digital Nexts experts; a highly experienced pay per click (PPC) team; as well as a skilled team of web writers and journalists. Staff employed within the company will now rise to forty in the Manchester base and over 250 globally. This should result in an improved service for the existing client bases of both Digital Next and Just Search. Furthermore, Digital Next has been working extremely hard in the last two to three years on in-house project management software which will ensure clients gain a clearer insight into their social media performance as well as allowing them to monitor their search engine positions.

Justin Blackhurst, formerly managing director of Digital Next, will now take on the role of CEO and plans to focus on key areas that will help propel the business towards further growth. The emphasis will be on innovation and so he will look at how Digital Next engages with businesses and brands with a view to developing unique, successful marketing strategies.

Blackhurst feels that the acquisition couldnt have come at a better time.

With Digital Next having been in a sound financial position for a number of years, I have watched many agencies over the past few years with an eye towards making an acquisition. It was felt this one was the right one at the right time and contained all the right ingredients. The Internet is changing and we are changing with it. While the Manchester digital agency scene is a dog eat dog world, I want our company to remain influential in Manchester but it is not a major concern. Therefore, will be focusing on ourselves and sticking to the plan, aims and objectives we have set ourselves not what is going on around us like many other agencies seem to do. We want to be judged by the success of our clients and the wellbeing of our staff. Along with my team, I have done extensive research into our market and we now believe we have a formidable platform for growth that is pound for pound the best outside London. However, we are also looking beyond the UK. With this acquisition we now have offices in the UK, Ireland, Italy, France, Sweden, the US and India and have also recently opened offices in Australia.

Along with an increase in services, the acquisition will now pave the way for more jobs within Digital Next. Future plans also include further acquisitions in the form of hosting companies.

Digital Next will be hosting an event at The Lowry Hotel, Manchester on the 28th February in honour of these developments, featuring a champagne reception, canapés, a DJ and entertainment plus a special guest speaker. For further information, please e-mail anthony@digitalnext.co.uk.

Based at The Sharp Project Manchesters flagship digital content production facility Digital Next is a full service digital marketing agency.

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