(L to R: Julie Wood, Dean Skidmore, Lisa Higham, Dennis Engel, Richard Ellis and Ian Lloyd)
Sentio Partners have advised Yorkshire-headquartered digital agency Ingenuity Digital Holdings Limited (“IDHL” or “the Business”) on the management buyout (MBO) of the Business, supported by a funding package from HSBC and Frontier Development Capital (“FDC”).
The investments from HSBC and FDC follow a period of consistent growth for IDHL and a record financial performance in 2016, with revenues exceeding £10.5 million. The MBO, which values the Business at £30 million, has provided an excellent return for exiting investors and enables the senior management team to become majority shareholders.
Founded in 2000, IDHL’s 17-year track record has seen it become one of the UK’s largest full-service digital agencies and the largest independent in the North, home to the Ingenuity Digital, WMG and NetConstruct brands. The Business’ 120 strong team of experts deliver a range of digital services to clients including TNT, Coast and Radley, and have achieved numerous prestigious awards and recognition in the industry.
HSBC provided funding to facilitate the deal in partnership with FDC, a new funder focused on supporting regional business growth across the UK – the first investment from its newly launched National Mezzanine Fund.
Dennis Engel, Chief Executive of IDHL, said: “This investment will help continue our ambitious growth drive and support our clients with innovative new products and services. It has been a transformative 12 months for IDHL with management appointments, new headquarters and a strengthening of our expert team. The MBO will help us keep up this momentum into the future. I’m delighted for the exiting investors and the employees who’ve benefitted from their share options and I’m also pleased about the increased control and shareholding within the Business.”
Andy Miller and John O’Gara from Sentio provided corporate finance and debt advisory services to IDHL and its management team. Other advisers included Squire Patton Boggs (legal advice to the company and management team), PwC (financial due diligence and tax advice), Eversheds Sutherland (legal advice to HSBC) and Addleshaw Goddard (legal advice to FDC).