May 17, 2013, 4:45 PM

Accenture will buy e- and m-commerce consultancy Acquity Group

Accenture says the deal will strengthen its digital marketing portfolio.

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Accenture said today it would pay about $316 million to buy e-commerce and m-commerce consulting firm Acquity Group Ltd. Accenture, a consulting company, said the deal will enable it to expand the digital marketing services it provides clients.

Acquity Group went public last year on the New York Stock Exchange. The company took in $141.0 million in revenue last year, up 32.1% from $106.7 million in  2011. Acquity employs more than 600 workers, and Accenture says they will join the parent firm and work on digital marketing. 

“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,” says Brian Whipple, global managing director of Accenture Interactive.  “The acquisition of Acquity Group will expand our capabilities in key areas of digital marketing and e-commerce, complementing our strengths in strategy, analytics, scaled technology enablement and marketing operations.”

The deal still requires the approval of Acquity Group shareholders.

Accenture is one of the world’s largest management consulting and technology outsourcing firms. It employs 261,000 people, has clients in 120 countries and generated $27.9 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year, the company says.

Acquity Group says it serves such clients as Chicago-based Argo Tea Inc., American Tire Distributor subsidiary TireBuyer.com and W.W. Grainger Inc., No. 15 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. It has also been involved in several recent e-retailing activities, including the U.S. debut earlier this year of China-based shoe brand Li-Ning at Li-Ning.com and the launch of e-commerce for Radio Flyer, the maker of kids’ scooters, wagons, tricycle and bicycle. Acquity says that in 2010 it launched a mobile site for Chicago-area commuter rail service Metra. 

Blackstone Advisory Partners L.P. is Accenture’s financial adviser on the deal, with Accenture and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal advises. Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. is Acquity’s financial adviser, with Shearman & Sterling LLP as its legal adviser. 

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