Group raises dollars 80m, eyes PR agencies

LONDON: A consortium of venture capitalists that includes both private investors and High Street banks has raised more than dollars 80 million to finance what will likely be a series of acquisitions in high-growth PR sectors, PRWeek has learned.

LONDON: A consortium of venture capitalists that includes both private investors and High Street banks has raised more than dollars 80 million to finance what will likely be a series of acquisitions in high-growth PR sectors, PRWeek has learned.

LONDON: A consortium of venture capitalists that includes both

private investors and High Street banks has raised more than dollars 80

million to finance what will likely be a series of acquisitions in

high-growth PR sectors, PRWeek has learned.



Among the practice areas the VCs are said to be eyeing are information

technology, healthcare, financial PR and biotech.



Chris Lewis, the fund’s coordinator and chief executive of hi-tech

specialist Lewis Communications, anticipates extensive growth in each of

the sectors.



’I’m sure it will provide a good return on the investment,’ he said.



Lewis is putting his money where his mouth is, ponying up over dollars 3

million to the pool of nearly dollars 50 million that will come from 15

individual investors, most of whom made their fortunes in the technology

business.



Other contributors include Mike Hill, the founder of the Doctor

Solomon’s anti-virus software; and Norman Wood, who, as chairman of the

Gorsewood Group of IT consultancies, is participating on both a

corporate and personal level. Hill and Wood are thought to have chipped

in more than dollars 8 million each.



The remaining money has come from VC firms and High Street banks,

including NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds TSB. The consortium is on the

verge of appointing financial advisors and has narrowed down its choices

to Ernst and Young, Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers.



Lewis will remain the main shareholder in the agency he founded five

years ago, which is now the UK’s 11th biggest in terms of fee income.



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