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Estonian company buys British mobile marketing firm

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Priit Vaikmaa  Estonian company Monday Media OÜ has acquired 55% of TextMagic Ltd, a mobile marketing firm in England.

The owner of Monday Media is Priit Vaikmaa, who has been CEO and minority
shareholder of TextMagic for the last six years. The deal enabled the British
founders of TextMagic to exit profitably, while the CEO gained more flexibility
in running the company. Vaikmaa said that the company is operating in a
fast-growing market, and he is aiming for a tenfold increase both in revenue
and profit of TextMagic over the next five years. Vaikmaa is convinced that he
will be able to fulfil this goal by improving internet marketing and getting
bigger companies as its clients. "Several of our competitors, which offer the
same simple SMS service, are 10–20 times bigger than we are today," he
mentioned.

Jako Kruuse, the buy-side advisor of Nordic CF Advisory, said that the MBO of the British company showed once again Estonian entrepreneurs' increasing interest to expand and develop business outside of Estonia.

TextMagic Ltd, a provider of text messaging products, develops and markets web- and internet-based SMS communications solutions for businesses, agencies and developers. The clients of TextMagic have sent more than 40 million SMSes via TextMagic since the foundation of the company in 2001. TextMagic clients include Oxford University, Fujitsu and PepsiCo.

Vaikmaa said that a couple thousand companies in the UK, Australia and other European Union countries use their SMS sending services. For example, car services send reminders to their customers when a car needs a scheduled maintenance, hair salons remind clients about their coming appointments. SMSes are also sent when a client has an unpaid bill or a contract needs to be lengthened. In addition, commercial messages are sent, people are invited to events or invited to participate in sale campaigns. Vaikmaa said that delivering these messages helps their clients to improve their customer service and save money.

Vaikmaa said that he had had an interest in buying a majority stake in TextMagic for a long time, and now he was able to succeed with the deal. "The sellers were no more active in the management of the company, and it was profitable for them to sell," Vaikmaa said.

He also plans to expand the company's activities in Estonia where it has only a few customers. Despite low sales in Estonia, the marketing, sales and development teams of the British TextMagic have been based in Estonia for
several years.

Source: Kreek, R. (2013) Eesti ettevõtja ostis välja Briti mobiiliturundusfirma.Äripäev Online, 25. juuni.
Kalmus, K. (2013) Saarlane ostis brittidelt mobiiliturundusfirma. Saarte Hääl, 2.juuli.