Serial entrepreneur Nick Bell has sold leading digital marketing agency, WME Group, to Melbourne IT for $39 million.
Bell, who was included in last year’s BRW Young Rich List, founded WME Group from his bedroom in 2008, using his ‘last $400’. Rapid growth has seen the end-to-end digital marketing solutions provider place in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for the past three years. In addition to having more than 200 staff, it boasts large clients including Spalding, The Atlantic Group, Rodger David and Allied Pickfords.
During his time at the helm of WME, Bell started, co-founded or invested in a number of other companies in Australia and overseas including Appscore, Hosting Australia, Tribe, Vervoe, Ideapod and Leadchat. He also heads up a global group of digital companies employing 300 people across six countries.
While key management will remain with WME Group, Bell will exit the agency at the end of June to focus on his other business interests, both here and abroad, as well as angel investing and helping start-ups.
“The growth and sale of WME has been an extremely challenging and enjoyable experience,” Bell said in a statement . “I am extremely happy to be handing over the reins to Melbourne IT who have a great reputation for service and success. It was very important to me that the company was left in the hands of people who genuinely want to continue its growth.
Martin Mercer, CEO of Melbourne IT, said WME Group is a strong strategic fit for the company, adding “Melbourne IT of today is almost unrecognisable from the Melbourne IT of three years ago” and that “managed marketing solutions are now the growth engine of our SMB division”.
Meanwhile, Emma Hunt, Managing Director of the SMB division of Melbourne IT said he acquisition “clearly aligns with MLB’s strategy of transitioning our SMB organisation into the leading digital solutions partner for small and medium businesses.”
See also: Five marketing lessons to learn from Trump (Nick Bell), Find your niche, ride the entrepreneurial wave, operate like a start-up: Nick Bell on his journey (Nick Bell), When there’s a will there’s a way: founder of WME, Australia’s largest digital marketing agency rises from failure to $45 million