The larger networks and agencies rely on M&A to accelerate their growth and bring the latest thinking to their more established operations. In turn entrepreneurial owners very often seek the umbrella of a larger organisation to enable geographic expansion and the bundling of capabilities to better serve clients, potentially also allowing a return to the work they are passionate about and provide assistance with the business of running a company.
If there is a common thread amongst the hundreds of prospective acquirers we talk to, it is the desire that they see in their clients for a genuine dialogue with customers and therefore a strength and longevity to relationships. As a result we are seeing a particular appetite in areas such as Public Relations and ‘Digital’ capabilities. Digital is clearly high on everyone’s agenda and for larger organisations without this capability it is seen as a must-have. The question is how long digital knowledge and understanding will be seen as a compartmentalised area before it is simply taken for granted within the mix as a whole.
Our experience as marketing services corporate finance advisors includes working with companies in brand design (Core Blimey), market research, PR (Pinnacle Communications), digital marketing (Jacaranda), events/experiential and retail design.