STW Communications (SGN) Buy Share Tip

STW groupSTW Communications (SGN) is Australasia’s largest marketing communications group, comprising over 75 specialist companies.

Through its subsidiaries, SGN works with Australasia’s biggest brands and some of the world’s biggest companies, including IBM, Ford, Panadol, Bendigo Bank, PepsiCo, Hyundai, Castrol and Dick Smith, to name just a few.s.

The acquisitions

In late October 2012, the company announced plans to acquire three companies, paid for via a $40 million capital raising. Markitforce (75% SGN ownership) is a leader in promotional campaign execution and point of sale fulfilment for local and global clients, with clients such as has Unilever, L’Oreal and Boehringer Ingelheim.

The acquisition will strengthen SGN’s execution capabilities and offer it exposure to the attractive retail and shopper marketing segment, which only adds to its already well diversified portfolio.

Maverick Marketing and Communications(Maverick) (80% SGN ownership) is a leader in experiential marketing from strategic and creative development through to execution. It has clients such as, Telstra BigPond, Coca Cola, Westpac, Bonds, Target and Vodafone to name a few.

The acquisition will provide SGN with experiential marketing capabilities, but we think it will provide a great opportunity for SGN’s current companies to leverage Maverick’s client base.

Switched on Media (SOM) (75% SGN Ownership) is a digital agency specialising in search engine marketing and social media. SOM’s client base includes Canon, Fairfax digital, Cochlear and Westfield. The acquisition of SOM will not only boost but also compliment SGN’s current digital capabilities.

Impact of acquisition

The total cost of the acquisitions (including Amblique) is $30.6 million; this includes an estimate of the likely earnout payments to the previous owners.

SGN forecast a full year contribution from the acquisitions for CY13 as follows: revenue of $29.8 million and EBITDA of $6.1 million. For CY13 the acquisitions are likely to be EPS neutral on a pre-synergy basis.

We expect synergy benefits, especially the cross selling opportunities to some very large blue-chip companies, to provide SGN with some major growth potential.


When SGN reported its 1H12 results, it acknowledged the challenging macro economy and stuck to its FY12 forecast for mid-single digit net profit growth. Longer term, however, it remains in a strong position to benefit from the ongoing shift to digital publishing.

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