1000heads secures over £30m in funding to fuel international push

1000heads secures £30m+ from private equity firm to

Ad agency 1000heads, has secured an investment of more than £30m from private equity firm, Phoenix Equity Partners.

The marketing group, which specialises in social media, strategic consultancy, and creative services, boasts 150 people across offices in London, New York, Sydney, Dubai and Berlin. Clients include Wella, Microsoft, Grupo Bimbo, Uniqlo and Arm.

It achieved revenues of £28m in 2018/19, up by a reported 20%, but to fuel its international growth the company turned to private equity.

The investment of between £30m - £40m (it declined to reveal specifics) will help 1000heads to accelerate the expansion of its international footprint and its services. Furthermore, the agency’s management team has also reinvested in the business.

After nearly doubling the headcount and billings of the New York office in the past year it is now eyeing up a possible West Coast push. While it is early days yet, the plan is also to build out the offering in Europe and Australia.

Chief executive Mike Davison told The Drum: "We will work with the new partner to put the blocks in place. We have the grand vision and the plan but given that the ink has just dried on the deal, we need to build out the strategy.

“The 1000heads team has achieved great things over the last few years, growing rapidly, winning new accounts and continuing to build trusted relationships with some of the best brands on the planet. The partnership with Phoenix is going to help us support our continued growth with investment in infrastructure, operations and footprint.”

Agency founder Mike Rowe will assume the role of non-executive director following the transaction.

He added: "We have been on an exciting journey and we wanted a partner who shared our vision for the future, and who would enable us to grow rapidly while preserving our independent culture and identity.

"From our first conversation, it was clear that Phoenix understood our ambitions and is best placed to help us realise them.”

Phoenix Equity Partners, founded in 2001, has invested more than £1bn in 50 companies. It typically backed mid-sized companies valued up to £200m.

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