Next 15 acquires Engine Group – Engine Creative to merge with ODD

engine group

Growth Consulting group, Next 15 Communications Group plc has agreed to acquire Engine Group UK from US private equity owners, Lake Capital.

Engine Creative will merge with fellow Next 15 agency ODD under the leadership of ODD Group CEO, Phil Fearnley.

MHP Mischief and Engine Transformation will continue as stand-alone brands under their existing leadership within the Next 15 portfolio of companies.

Next 15 acquires Engine Group

The deal, funded by a combination of cash, debt and a new share issue, will create fresh opportunities to accelerate the partners’ growth in the UK and internationally, backed by Next 15’s model of independence, incentives and investment.

Phil Fearnley, Group CEO ODD
ODD Group CEO Phil Fearnley.

Engine Creative brings a multi-award winning team of more than 250 people serving 50+ clients such as long-standing customers, Santander, E.ON, Sky, Cazoo and the Cabinet Office.

ODD, one of the fastest growing brands in the Next 15 stable, builds desire for some of the world’s most ambitious fashion, retail and lifestyle brands, like M&S Clothing & Home, Tesco F&F and N Brown.

The combined company will be rebranded in the coming months, with a new name, proposition and identity.

Engine Creative complements the Next 15 group’s data-driven UK communications offering, enhancing the scope of its consumer-facing consulting businesses, such as, Savanta, Shopper Media Group and Velocity, as well as ODD.

Fearnley said: “This merger is about opportunity. For our outstanding people, the opportunity to develop their expertise in a consistently inspiring, generous and energetic culture.

“For our clients, the opportunities arising from the inspired application of creativity, data and technology to build brand desire and thereby, sales”

Fearnley brings a wealth of experience in delivering innovative and popular digital products, including the launch of BBC iPlayer and the broadcast of BBC’s London 2012 Olympics coverage while working at the BBC. 

Prior to joining Next 15, he worked at HSBC as Digital Chief Product Officer

Charlie Hurrell, Chief Client Officer of Engine Creative, said: “We are delighted to join the Next 15 family through this merger and are hugely excited that our clients and our talented creative teams will be enriched by access to the breadth of capabilities and opportunities available to them. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our staff’