Four Communications, the independent communications agency with offices in London, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Edinburgh, is preparing for significant expansion thanks to a £10m investment of equity finance from BGF (Business Growth Fund).
BGF has taken a minority stake in Four Communications (Four), the UK’s sixth-largest independent agency and one of the largest independents in the Gulf. As part of the investment, the business has also secured an additional debt facility from HSBC.
Four has experienced rapid growth over the past four years, doubling turnover from £15m in 2010 to over £32m in 2014. Four has won numerous industry awards including UK Agency of the Year, Middle East Agency of the Year, Best New Agency, the UK’s Best External Campaign and a top 50 UK Businesses to Watch Recognition, and is now the number six independent communications agency in the UK according to PR Week.
BGF’s £10m growth capital investment will support the company in making a number of acquisitions in the UK, Middle East and South East Asia. Over the past four years, Four has built a strong track record of acquiring and integrating communications agencies which offer complementary services to the group including bgb in 2011, Colman Getty in 2012, Kinross & Render in 2013, Consolidated PR in 2014 and most recently MSA Media in May 2015.
Nan Williams, group CEO of Four Communications said: “This is a very exciting time for our business. In the past few years we have seen significant organic and acquisitive growth. With BGF’s backing, we can take this to the next level in the UK and overseas.”
Ray Eglington, managing director – international of Four Communications added: “In the Gulf, this gives us the opportunity to expand further our regional reach and our sector capabilities. Following a record-breaking year in the Gulf in which we have attracted major new clients and expanded our successful team, the BGF investment will allow us to go even further in 2016 and beyond.”
As part of the deal, BGF Investor Chris Hodges will join the Board of Four Communications. Speaking about the new development, he said: “Nan and her senior management team have a fantastic track record of delivering innovative communications services that are valued by Four’s diverse range of customers. Their ambition has driven organic growth in the business which has been enhanced by a series of strategic acquisitions that have expanded the range of services Four offers, grown its presence in dynamic market sectors such as travel, property and healthcare, and successfully established its international footprint. BGF is looking forward to supporting the team in delivering engaging creative work for Four’s clients and taking the business smoothly to the next level of scale.”
The investment was managed for BGF by Chris Hodges, George Tsangarides and Thomas McDonnell.