Acquisition of digital agency, Star Republic Strengthening of operations in Northern Europe

SQLI reaches a concrete milestone in its goal to expand its geographical presence.

Established in Göteborg and Stockholm, Star Republic is a team of 70 specialists in e-commerce, mobility and user pattern solutions that operates in the same strategic sectors as SQLI (Retail, Bank, Food and Healthcare). Star Republic’s power technological capabilities draw on benchmark platforms: inRiver PIM-systems (Nordic Partner of the Year in 2014), Episerver (Partner of the Year in 2013), and SALESFORCE COMMERCE CLOUD. The company works alongside major international companies such as Carlsberg Group, PostNord, Tele2, KappAhl and Unilever.

With a strong growth dynamic of 30% per year over the last four years, Star Republic posted turnover of more than SEK 70 million in 2016 (more than €7 million). Thanks to its positioning and careful management of its costs, the digital agency reported an Ebitda of close to 13%.

The operation will result in the takeover of Star Republic by SQLI alongside the agency's managers who are reinvesting as a minority in the new company. The agency will be consolidated with retroactive effect from 1 May 2017. While the terms and conditions of the operation are confidential, the acquisition will be financed in cash and will be immediately accretive. A price supplement is also subject to performance criteria over the next three years. SQLI is able to draw on a solid financial footing. As a reminder, at the start of 2017, SQLI negotiated access to additional financing of €40 million.

SQLI and Star Republic have strong synergies that can be implemented immediately after the merger, particularly when it comes to sharing the technological expertise of the two companies (HYBRIS for SQLI, INRIVER and EPISERVER for Star Republic) and the Offshore activities of SQLI. Star Republic will also spearhead the deployment of SQLI Group across Scandinavia and particularly in Denmark.

After the establishment of the Group in the United Kingdom and the opening of an office in Zurich in 2016, SQLI has confirmed its ambition to deploy overseas with a strong focus on northern Europe, and to reinforce its activity with major accounts to become the European leader in connected experience.

This operation also reinforces the Group's organic growth reported in 2016 and the positive outlook seen at the start of 2017.

Mikael Andersson, CEO of Star Republic said: "With SQLI, we have found the ideal partner to continue this fantastic adventure which began in 2003. We will be joining a solid, ambitious Group that will open up new opportunities for development. We are delighted to become part of a company that shares our DNA born out of a successful combination of technology, strategy and design."

Didier Fauque, CEO of SQLI, added: "We looked into a number of new opportunities for external growth before choosing Star Republic for our first entity in Scandinavia. We have found a company that perfectly matches our criteria: clear positioning in e-commerce, solid technological fundamentals, a committed management and financial performances that will drive SQLI forwards.”SQLI will publish its 2017 first-quarter turnover on 11 May 2017 after the close of trading.