Specialist sports agency Craigie Taylor International has been
boosted by venture capitalist Hart Ventures investing pounds 2.8 million
to acquire a 35 per cent stake.
As a result of the investment, Matthew Argenti, former MD of sports
marketing firm API Sponsorship, has joined CTI as commercial
Argenti was the catalyst for the deal between Hart and CTI. In tandem
with Hart chairman Ian Williams, Argenti planned to invest in a sports
agency. CTI was selected after talking to six agencies.
Argenti joins the agency with two principal briefs - to set up a rights
sales and acquisitions department, which finds sponsors for sporting
events; and to build CTI’s specialist motor racing division. Williams
becomes a non-executive director in CTI.
CTI chairman Marcus Robertson predicts that by the end of 2001 the
rights sales division will account for 50 per cent of the agency’s
overall fee income. Craigie Taylor is currently 49th in PR Week’s Top
150 with fee income of pounds 2,389,567.
According to Robertson, the agency will look to expand through organic
growth via the new divisions for which the agency plans to appoint ten
’good people’ over the next 12 months.
Acquisitions are also a possibility. ’We now have the ability to buy
tactically, but we are not hell-bent on going down that route,’ said
Robertson also said there was a possibility the agency would float in
the near future.
The remaining 65 per cent of the agency is owned by six senior managers,
with the majority belonging to Robertson. A share options scheme has
also been introduced for 20 senior managers.