East Mids private equity team leads investment into global programmatic advertising firm

Greg Isbister

Private equity firm LDC has made a “significant” investment in Blis, a global programmatic advertising company.

Blis has team of more than 240 people. The company has grown rapidly over the last five years, with revenues rising to around £60m this year.

LDC is backing the existing management team led by CEO Greg Isbister. The private equity firm is supporting its growth plans to invest in new product development, broaden its service offering and expand the team across Europe, the USA and Asia-Pacific. LDC’s investment will also enable Blis to double its headcount over the next few years.

The transaction was led by John Green, an investment director in LDC’s East Midlands and East of England team, and was supported by investment director Karen Mann and partner David Andrews.

Green and Andrews will join the board alongside CEO Greg Isbister, CFO Parm Dhami and industry heavyweight John Farrell, who joins Blis as non-executive chair. With more than 25 years’ experience, Farrell has led some of the world’s biggest marketing services brands and was the former president and CEO of Publicis Group’s specialised agencies and marketing services arm.

Isbister said: “I’m really excited to have LDC as an investor in the business – they clearly understand the opportunity ahead of us and back our vision to accelerate our growth in this exciting space. They bring a huge amount of sector expertise across their broad portfolio and have a straight talking and down to earth approach.”

Green added: “The Blis team has created a compelling marketing proposition that really works in today’s privacy-first world. They came to us with a successful track record and a plan to further expand the business across major international markets. We’re excited to play a part in the next stage of their growth journey.”

LDC was advised by GP Bullhound (corporate finance), Browne Jacobson (legal), PwC (commercial and financial due diligence).

Blis was advised by Moelis & Co (corporate finance) and Fox Williams (legal). The management team were advised by Deloitte (corporate finance) and Eversheds (legal). Debt facilities were provided by OakNorth Bank.

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