LONDON — Digital, public relations and SEO agency Threepipe has been bought by Italian technology group Reply for an undisclosed sum, the Holmes Report has learned.

Reply, which is headquartered in Turin and listed on the Italian STAR market, is made up of specialist consulting and systems integration companies in areas such as digital media, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

The group, which has more than 7,600 employees, works with European businesses and organisations across the telco, media, manufacturing, retail, government and defence, energy, utilities and finance sectors, and reported revenues of €1bn last year.

In a note to clients last week, founder Jim Hawker (pictured) wrote: “Reply is a multinational business that has the same entrepreneurial and innovative spirit as ourselves. We are excited to join because it offers us the opportunity to work alongside other Reply companies that are complementary to what we do.

“As a result, we will be able to tap into wider UK and international experience whose expertise, for instance, includes CRM, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Blockchain. This will benefit both our staff and our clients over the coming years.”

Under the terms of the deal, the agency will keep its name and the founders are remaining in the business.

Threepipe – the Holmes Report’s EMEA digital agency of the year for 2019 – was founded in 2004 by Hawker (formerly a director of Spreckley Partners and Trimedia) and now has a team of around 80 people. The agency merged with digital agency Blowfish in 2012, when Blowfish founder Farhad Koodoruth joined the leadership team as CEO.

The deal follows a period of expansion by Threepipe, which in 2016 acquired SEO agency Spot Digital, and last year bought sports and sponsorship agency Earnie to boost its creative services offering.

The agency also recently launched a new division, Emergent, to help brands (so far including Tomy Europe, Vtech, Panasonic, Pepsi and Start-Rite) navigate Amazon’s complex selling structure and algorithms.

Threepipe did not respond to a request for comment on the acquisition.