Private equity firm LDC has exited its investment in The Creative Engagement Group (TCEG) in a strategic trade sale to Huntsworth plc, an international healthcare and public relations communications group. The deal is at an enterprise value of £25m.
TCEG is a group of three creative agencies – WRG, The Moment and Just Communicate – which provide experiential marketing, including events, digital marketing, virtual and augmented reality. The group serves an international client base of blue chip companies and has significant expertise in the healthcare sector, along with professional services, banking, leisure and tourism.
LDC originally invested in creative agency WRG in August 2011, and during its investment period the business completed three acquisitions, including Just Communicate in 2016. WRG was integrated with The Moment, a spin-out of LDC portfolio company TwoFour Group in 2016, creating the combined business TCEG.
The TCEG management team is led by CEO Russ Lidstone and COO David Sharrock, who will both remain with the business.
Rob Powell, Director at LDC, said: “We’ve worked in partnership with Russ and David to develop a strongly differentiated group at the forefront of creative and experiential marketing. This deal is not only testament to the strength of TCEG’s proposition, but also to the quality and depth of the team, and TCEG’s future growth prospects.”
Russ Lidstone, CEO of TCEG, added: “After spending much of my career in creative agency holding companies, my first foray into private equity was with LDC. Within eighteen months and thanks to LDC’s strategic, financial and operational support, we completed an acquisition; integrated three businesses; created a new holding company; truly differentiated our market positioning and strategic plan; and exited to Huntsworth, a strategic trade buyer. The journey of transformation has been a hugely positive one and resulted in the right exit for our team and for the next stage of our growth.”