Freud bought out of final stake in Pitch

Pitch founder Henry Chappell has bought the final chunk of Matthew Freud's stake in his agency, 11 years after its launch.

LONDON: Pitch founder Henry Chappell has bought the final chunk of Matthew Freud's stake in his agency, 11 years after its launch.

Chappell founded the sports-focused PR agency in 2002 after leaving his director-level position at Freud's agency, which took an approximate 35% stake in the new business.

Freud's original investment in Pitch, which included other support such as back-office resources, is understood to have been worth a five-figure sum.

It is understood that Chappell acquired the last 5% of Pitch from Freud in the first quarter of this year, thus taking full control of the agency.

The biggest chunk of Freud's stake changed hands last year, when Chappell bought 25% of the firm for £500,000, or about $798,000.

This generated a profit for Matthew Freud of £320,000, or more than $510,000, according to the 2012 accounts for Freud Holdings, published at Companies House this week.

Freud's actual return on the investment is likely to have been much greater because it will include what he received for the remainder plus his share of its profits over the years.

It is understood the whole stake has cost Chappell in the region of a million pounds to acquire.

Last year, Pitch's fee income grew by 20% to £3.1 million, or about $5 million, and the firm employed 38 staffers.

The agency has climbed to 66th place in PRWeek UK's latest Top 150 Consultancies league table, while Freud retained sixth place.

Freud is one of the set of agencies PRWeek UK has identified as being “the breeding grounds” of the PR agency industry in its “Six Degrees of Separation” feature, which explores the relationships between new and established shops.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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