Political intelligence firm Dods has completed the acquisition of Meritgroup for £22.4 million.

PLC Dods, which has a 186-year history of content creation and analysis in policy and political markets, holds events and delivers training programmes as well as owning several print and media brands.

The group seeks to help clients including Microsoft, Coca Cola, BAE Systems and GlaxoSmithKline solve challenges relating to government, regulatory and public.

It described the deal for Meritgroup, a provider of data services and software code, as “transformational”.

"The acquisition of Merit is the first step on our journey to becoming a significant augmented intelligence business where the combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence and human application meet to inform actionable business outcomes,” said chairman Dr David Hammond.

“There is a clear strategic fit and industrial logic in purchasing Merit which is a highly skilled, competent and educated business with over 15 years of domain expertise in data engineering.

“Merit is at the forefront of innovation and technology and has developed significant resident knowledge allowing them to help power some of the world's leading Business Intelligence solutions.

“The combination of the two companies will mean that customers can now seek answers from a trusted brand operating at scale across a range of global industries."

A placing and subscription with new and existing investors will raise £12.2m to part-finance the acquisition, while there is an open offer to existing shareholders to raise an additional £1m.

The remainder of the consideration will be financed through issue of new shares, bank debt and existing cash resources.

Dods arranges over 400 conferences, summits, roundtables and awards programmes annually which connect clients to a targeted audience. It publishes 14 magazines, websites and directories, such as Politics Home, Total Politics, Training Journal, Holyrood and Civil Service World.

Among its learning and development programmes for private and public sector bodies, it delivers more than 40 government training programmes a year.

Meritgroup was established in 2004 in India and has evolved to become a specialist in the automated harvesting and transformation of data and the development of extensive software code to drive this activity.

Today it collects several million data points daily from around 3,000 sources across multiple industries including maritime, construction, fashion, oil & gas, retail and metals.

It achieved compound annual revenue growth of over 20 per cent over the last three years and has been profitable for the past seven years.