Porta buys stake in corporate comms agency Broker Profile

Porta Communications has continued its expansion by acquiring a 29.5 per cent stake in corporate comms agency Broker Profile.

Porta CEO David Wright: Transaction will add to group's offering to existing clients
Porta CEO David Wright: Transaction will add to group's offering to existing clients

Porta has taken a 29.5 per cent stake in Broker’s newly formed holding company Capital Access Group via a non-cash transaction, with Porta providing "certain office services" for three-and-a-half years and guaranteeing up to £2m of debt among other guarantees, according to an investors' note published today by Porta.

AIM-listed Porta has an option to buy the business outright over a period from the start of 2018.

Central London-based Broker Profile represents more than 70 clients, the majority of which are listed, including several in the FTSE100. It generated pre-tax profits of £800,000 in 2014 on revenue of £2.7m.

Broker Profile was founded in 1997 by Jonathan Gillen, who is set to leave the business but will take a consultancy role to assist the handover to a new team. The other employees of Broker Profile will remain following the acquisition, Porta said.

David Wright, CEO of Porta, said: "We believe the combination of investor access together with investor relations and financial public relations will be valuable services to offer clients and will broaden Porta group's service offering to its existing clients."

Capital Access was founded by Richard Feigen and Kevin Lapwood, until recently partners at Hub Capital Partners and, respectively, the ex-MD and ex-head of research at brokers Seymour Pierce.

Feigen said: "With the expected changes in the corporate broking regulatory background in Europe and effect of technology on the way investors of all sizes receive information, the need for integrated advice on investor communications has never been greater. The tie-up with Porta will enable us to offer corporate clients a greater range of services than ever before."

The news follows Porta’s acquisition of four agencies last year: Publicasity; WSM Print & Design and Digital; Redleaf Polhill and PPS.

Speaking to PRWeek in December, Wright said Porta would "definitely" be making further acquisitions, with PR agencies among the priorities.

At its AGM in June, Porta predicted that its underlying earnings (EBITDA) in the first half of 2015 would be "significantly higher than that achieved in the whole of 2014". He said Porta's main acquisitions from 2014 were "performing well".

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