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Mission Marketing Group acquires RLA in £9.5m deal

LONDON - The Mission Marketing Group has acquired marketing communications company RLA Group for an initial £9.5m.

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RLA Group, which specialises in on- and offline communications and media buying, has clients in the automotive and retail sectors, including Goodyear, Dunlop, Volkswagen and Teleflorist. It employs 60 staff in Belfast, Edinburgh and Bournemouth.

The business also provides strategic and creative planning, local and regional planning and buying services, direct marketing, point of sale, ambient and guerrilla marketing activity.

The agency has been acquired for an initial £9.5m, while The Mission Marketing Group, owners of Bray Leino, may need to make a deferred payment of up to £2m depending on the meeting of performance targets up to the end of 2007.

RLA Group returned profit before tax of £1.7m on a turnover of £12.8m for the year ending March 31.

Iain Ferguson, chief executive officer of The Mission Marketing Group, said the acquisition would add specialist expertise to specific industry sectors from its work in the media planning and buying industry.

Simon Dodd, chief executive officer of RLA Group, said: "The RLA Group has come a long way in its history and is now positioned to fully maximise its niche in the market.

"We believe that The Mission [Marketing Group] is the perfect partner for us. Its appetite for rapid growth, combined with its stable of high-quality companies throughout the UK makes it the ideal place for RLA Group."

In October, The Mission Marketing Group raised £5m to aid its expansion by placing more than 3.5m new ordinary shares at 140p a share to institutional investors.

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