Digital experience agency Manifesto is preparing to float on the London Stock Exchange as part of digitally-native technology services company The Panoply.
London-based Manifesto recently signed a binding share purchase agreement with The Panoply, who, in turn, simultaneously signed similar agreements with Norwegian business transformation consultancy Bene Agere, digital transformation specialists Notbinary and distributed software development company Questers. These provide the critical mass required for the IPO which will see the group target expansion across Europe over the next few years.
Manifesto’s expertise in front-end experiences - which encompasses service design, user experience, content management and marketing automation - completes an offering that includes cloud computing, machine learning, digital transformation and automation capabilities.
Neal Gandhi, founder and CEO of The Panoply, explains: “The Panoply is a services company assembled to meet the demands created by the fourth industrial revolution, combining the very best talent to service the growing technical needs of clients with true innovation, creativity and efficiency. It is our intention to continue to acquire businesses across Europe and bolster organic growth, taking advantage of the growing market for digital transformation services, one that IDC predicts will reach $82bn in EMEA by 2021.
“Adding Manifesto to our group of companies means that, alongside leading-edge consultancy on automation, artificial intelligence and business transformation, we can help our clients deliver award-winning multi-channel customer experiences and join up the dots between customer-facing and back-end processes to unlock further innovation.”
Manifesto CEO Jim Bowes will remain in his current role and, in addition, take on the role of chief innovation officer for the group which will see him representing innovation for the company at conferences, in the press and online.
Bowes said: “I’m incredibly excited about what The Panoply can achieve in the coming months and years. We’ve already assembled excellent companies and I know what we’re going to deliver game-changing experiences and technology for clients facing some of their toughest challenges. I know this will create brilliant opportunities for both Manifesto as a business and my team to grow.”
Mark Smith, former COO of Chime Communications plc at the time the company was bought out for £374m is The Panoply’s new chairman of the board. Profit with Purpose founder Isabel Kelly has joined as a non-executive director alongside Chris Sweetland, former deputy group finance director at WPP.
The Panoply has appointed Stifel to act as Nomad & Broker to the listing, alongside Nexia Smith & Williamson as reporting accountants, Harbottle & Lewis as lawyers and Alma PR to support the IPO. On listing all companies will now rebrand adding the TPX prefix, becoming TPX Bene Agere, TPX Manifesto, TPX Notbinary and TPX Questers.