Sideshow Group acquires Nomensa as it targets growth


Global challenger in digital experience and marketing services, Sideshow Group today announced the acquisition of strategic experience design agency Nomensa – its largest deal to date – as it looks to double in size this year.

Sideshow has been growing organically and through acquisition of best-in-class businesses in recent years, supported by investment from Waterland Private Equity in March 2021. 

It has built the group around core capabilities including experience, data and digital media, with multiple offices across the world.

Sideshow Group buys Nomensa

The acquisition of award-winning Nomensa increases its headcount from 600 to around 740. Nomensa will remain as a stand-alone agency brand, joining other specialist companies in the group.

Sideshow Group’s considered and client-centric approach to M&A means it offers a range of truly joined-up specialist services for brands including BT, KFC, HSBC and Microsoft. 

The business prides itself on an approach that is built on using evidence to drive better performance.

Nomensa, with offices in London, Bristol and Amsterdam, is particularly strong in the public sector, managing compliance and processes with clear rigour, as well as supporting key private sector businesses and brands.

Tony Hill, founder of Sideshow, said: “Nomensa has built a strong reputation for its outstanding UX design and accessibility expertise in the digital transformation work it does in the government space, as well as building long-term partnerships that create customer experience excellence for some amazing brands.

“We’re constantly looking for businesses with the right skillset and culture to integrate within our portfolio and to drive growth and momentum. Nomensa’s proven expertise and human-centric approach is the perfect fit”.

Sally Lincoln, managing director at Nomensa, said: “Sideshow’s commitment to evidence driven decision making and outcaring the competition was very attractive to the leadership team at Nomensa.

“We work with both public and private sector clients, transferring collaborative learnings between the two, to create digital experiences that make a measurable difference for our clients. 

“As more and more organisations get to grips with the value and importance of truly transformative and inclusive experiences, we have seen rapid growth in recent years.

“It was great to see our deep knowledge of the public sector and our market-leading skillset around accessibility and experience design valued by Tony and his team at Sideshow.

“We are keen to get working with our new colleagues to share knowledge and opportunities and to be part of Sideshow’s ambitious growth plans for the future. 

“Sideshow is the perfect home for Nomensa and we look forwards to what the future brings for the group. On a personal note, I am very excited for the journey ahead and continuing to accelerate our growth.”

Waypoint Partners, an expert global growth and M&A advisory firm to the creative and technology sectors, advised Nomensa on its sale to Sideshow.

Matt Lacey, partner at Waypoint Partners, said: “Nomensa is at the top of its game as a true expert in the arena of UX and experience transformation. 

“The team has huge ambition and I believe an exciting, disruptive challenger group such as Sideshow, with its shared ambition and values, will be a fantastic partner. 

“This new addition to the group certainly makes it one to watch.”

Sideshow’s advisors were Lewis Silkin, 8 Advisory and Ossopus. Nomensa was advised by Waypoint Partners and Osbourne Clarke.