Naked set for acquisition deals after Photon sale

LONDON - Naked Communications, the strategic comms consultancy bought by Australian marketing group Photon last week, plans to go on the acquisition trail in the UK.

Naked said it now has access to an acquisitions war chest, having last week been acquired by Photon for an initial payment of just under £17m. Photon’s pre-tax profits have swollen from £8.1m in the year to 30 June 2006, to £12.2m during the 12 months to 30 June 2007.

Will Collin, founder and partner at Naked, said: “Within the UK, it means we have the opportunity, if new products and assets come up, to fund the acquisition of them.”

As part of the Photon deal, Naked has taken full ownership of Hyper, the digital strategy agency it co-founded with ad agency Fallon, which is one part of an aggressive growth strategy Collin has planned.

He added: “We already have a significant team of people in experiential marketing through Lunch [Naked’s brand activation business]. This is an area that’s growing, is valued by clients and is an area for investment beyond organic growth.”

Collin said that expanding Naked’s branded content arm – Naked Ventures – was also a priority.

Despite not being a big name in UK media circles, Photon has built up a significant UK presence. It owns brand experience agency Sledge and PR firms Frank PR, Hotwire and Skywrite Communications.

Collin said the main reason for selling Naked was to fuel international expansion, as well as to fund UK acquisitions.

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