Acquisition creates £230m turnover communications firm

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TWO Yorkshire companies owned by Endless have agreed a deal to transfer the ownership of a communications business.

Marketing and communications business Adare Group has bought Banner Managed Communication from EVO Group for an undisclosed sum.

The deal has been under consideration for more than a year since the Leeds private equity firm took control of both businesses. It will create a £230m turnover business with 1,000 staff.

Adare consists of Adare International and Adare SEC, with a combined annual turnover of £170m prior to the acquisition.

Banner, which is based in Guildford with offices in London, Hinckley and Swindon, provides communications and creative services for major organisations, including the NHS, JD Wetherspoon and Ladbrokes.

EVO Group’s chief executive Robert Baldrey left last month “by mutual consent” after six years, and was replaced by sales and marketing director Steve Haworth.

Adare chief executive officer, Robert Whiteside,(pictured below) said: “This acquisition is a hugely positive development for both companies’ clients, staff and investors.

“As well as doubling the overall size of our UK business, the deal takes our secure and essential communications operation to the next level by bringing together Adare SEC and Banner Direct, creating a £70m, 400-plus staff operation.

“BMC’s facility in Guildford will augment Adare’s sites in Huddersfield and Redditch, from which we’ll continue to deliver end-to-end, outbound and inbound secure and essential communications via best-in-class technology. Robert Whiteside

Catherine Burke, chief executive of Banner Managed Communication, said: “With a shared investor in Endless, Adare and BMC already know one another extremely well.

“This has helped make the acquisition process especially positive and collaborative, with our teams already working together to ensure a smooth and successful integration.”

Darren Forshaw of Endless, commented: “As separate businesses, Adare and BMC were both operating profitably in their own right and could have continued to do so very successfully.

“Our ambitions are much greater than that however. The new organisation will have the scale and infrastructure to be able to service the very biggest and best UK businesses and global brands.

“It is something of a cliché in the M&A world to talk of combined businesses being ‘more than the sum of their parts’, but if ever a deal merits that description this is it.”

The acquisition has been supported by Adare’s banking partner HSBC, led by relationship manager Ian Sheppard.

Adare was advised by Jonathan Jones of law firm Squire Patton Boggs, and David Hardless of Park Place Corporate Finance.

Debbie Jackson and Jon Healey from the Walker Morris Corporate Department advised Evo.

Endless bought Vasanta Group in 2009, and completed its first public-to-private transaction in October 2014 with the acquisition of office2office. It then merged the businesses into the Sheffield-based EVO Group, a £660m-turnover business supplies group.

A management buyout of Huddersfield-headquartered Adare Group was backed by Endless and completed in April 2015. It combined two of its divisions, Kalamazoo and Adare Limited, into Adare SEC and it continues to operate Adare International.

In November Adare sold off its packaging business, Adare Advantage, to Americk Packaging for an undisclosed sum.

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