Making Markets has acquired Internet UK Services, an established e-commerce and design company, for nearly #6 million.
The acquisition was the first for Making Markets, the channel Web marketing operation formed by George Evans, former head of PC components at Datrontech and Julia Duthie, ex-distribution manager at Creative Labs. Making Markets paid #775,000 cash and stock worth about #5 million for the internet company, which boasts Coca-Cola, BT and Maplin Electronics among its clients.
The acquisition comes as part of Making Markets' expansion plans, which resulted in a recent move to larger offices. Staff levels have also increased, from two for the launch of the flagship product Send It Now in September 1998, to 20.
Making Markets is also about to launch its operation globally. Sister campaigns will be running in Switzerland, Germany and Austria by March.
These will be followed by a US launch, with undertakings in Australia and South Africa also pencilled in.
The acquired company will focus on the development of niche applications for Making Markets services and will also be used as the basis for an Internet Training Academy, to be established in the summer.
Duthie, commercial director of Making Markets, commented: 'It made a lot of sense to make the acquisition - it's a very specialist operation.
In such a young industry, it is the equivalent of internet design veterans.'
Evans, managing director of Making Markets, added: 'With the speed with which the internet world is developing, it is impossible to offer the market-leading services we intend to give the PC channel without having the kind of expertise of Internet UK.'
Curt Nash, managing director of Internet UK Services, said: 'This investment will continue the development of our broadcast internet technology and allow us to expand into the corporate e-commerce market.'
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