Luther Pendragon quartet poised for £11m buyout

Four senior figures at Luther Pendragon are plotting to buy out the issues management consultancy. The agency wants to hasten its international growth to prime it for a possible sale.

Managing partner Simon Whale and partners Gina Coladangelo, Daniel Guthrie and Amy Kroviak have joined forces to take control from founders George Pitcher and Charles Stewart Smith. The pair started Luther in 1991 and between them own 75 per cent.

The purchase will be funded by a combination of bank loans, venture capital and personal investment and is understood to stand at around £11m. Neither founder is thought likely to leave the company imminently.

The MBO comes after talks with several prospective buyers failed. Pitcher said over the past 18 months it had been 'approached by every major international PR group bar one'. Whale said the quartet would inject fresh 'ideas, energy and motivation' and that it would seek to boost its global affiliate network.

Ex-Britain in Europe campaigns chief Simon Buckby has quit Luther to start a consultancy.

Public Affairs, p9.

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