Italian digital media and communications company Reply has bought an 80% stake in UK multichannel commerce specialist Portaltech for £1.6m in cash.
Reply also has the option to buy the remaining 20% of hybris specialist Portaltech, which is expected to turn over £4.5m in the year to May 2012 and whose clients include Monsoon, Accessorize, LK Bennett, Long Tall Sally and the Royal Mail Group.
The move gives Reply a stake in the fast-growing UK multichannel commerce market and is part of a pan-European expansion strategy. The company already operates in the UK through a number of specialist companies in the fields of mobile, digital media, supply chain, risk management and regulatory compliance.
Mario Rizzante, chairman of Reply, said: “With Portaltech our group has acquired high level specialist skills within a market that has one of the highest growth rates and where the main retail players are currently focusing the majority of their investment.
“A centre of excellence specialised in multichannel e-commerce and online retail undoubtedly represents a strategic opportunity for the future development of our group in Europe and Portaltech, with its consolidated partnership with hybris, represents an important asset on which to build our offer.”
Portaltech chief executive Andrew Walker said: “As part of Reply, we plan to take advantage of their global scale and financial strength in order to accelerate our growth and geographical footprint, positioning Portaltech as a global leader in e-commerce and multichannel technology consulting.”