Four Communications snaps up Broadgate Mainland after £10m funding boost

Four Communications Group has bought financial PR agency Broadgate Mainland, its first acquisition since receiving a £10m investment from the Business Growth Fund.

Four CEO Nan Williams: New acquisition is among a number planned for the coming year
Four CEO Nan Williams: New acquisition is among a number planned for the coming year

Broadgate Mainland, which generates annual fee income in excess of £2.2m and employs 25 people from its City of London office, is to be rebranded as Four Broadgate under the deal and relocate to Four's HQ at London Bridge in September.

Four said the agency would focus on delivering comms programmes around financial services, professional services and education. Broadgate Mainland represents national and international brands including GAM, Baillie Gifford, Durham University Business School, St James’s Place Wealth Management and Woodford Investment Management.

Asked about possible redundancies following the deal, Broadgate director Roland Cross told PRWeek: "There are no client-facing redundancies, however there is a potential that two administrative staff may be made redundant."

The acquisition is set to increase Four's annual fee income to more than £20m in 2015.

Nan Williams, Four CEO, said: "Broadgate Mainland’s expertise will really bolster our existing offer within the financial and professional services and education sectors. This is just one of a series of acquisitions we will be announcing over the coming year as we surge ahead with our growth ambitions and expansion plans for the UK, Middle East and South East Asia."

Cross said: "PR is increasingly aligned with broader communications strategies and the integrated approach at Four makes it an ideal partner. As part of Four we can offer existing and prospective clients an enhanced service and have a strong platform to continue the growth of the business in the future."

Speaking to PRWeek earlier this month following Four’s £10m investment from the Business Growth Fund, Williams said she was planning a "raft of acquisitions", and was in the "final stages" of negotiations on two as part of a three-year growth plan. Williams said Four planned a move into healthcare PR and expansion further overseas to South East Asia in particular.

As part of the investment, Four also secured an additional debt facility from HSBC.

Four's turnover more than doubled over four years, from £15m in 2010 to over £32m in 2014, and it expects organic growth of more than 20 per cent this financial year. It was 21st in PRWeek’s Top 150 PR Consultancies report in May, with UK PR fee income of over £14m.

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