CEO Gornall sells Consolidated to team of directors

A six-strong team of directors has bought the controlling stake in

Consolidated Communications (CCM) from founder and chief executive

Alastair Gornall for an estimated pounds 3m.

The MBO team - led by MD Sarah Robinson - was financed by directors,

staff and Venture Capital Trusts, managed by Close VCT Management and

Lloyds TSB bank.

Robinson continues as MD, while the board will consist of Katie

Hatfield, Will Holt, Rachael Sansom, finance director Stephen Marsh, and

public affairs director Ed Vaizey - the other buyout participants.

CCM clients include Ask Jeeves, Audi, KLM, Virgin Direct and Budweiser.

It has annual fee income of more than pounds 5.5m and around 100


CCM did not disclose financial details, but the company did reveal that

Close Brothers VCTs had paid over pounds 2m for a minority stake.

'It bucks the trend of agencies selling to networks and losing their

independence - this way we keep our independence and react when we need

to,' said Holt.

Gornall, who formed the firm with Robinson 11 years ago, will continue

as a consultant for two years.

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