Connect PR buys Seal Communications and eyes further growth

Connect PR has bought consumer and b2b agency Seal Communications for an undisclosed sum as it targets further acquisitions.

Deal makers (l to r): Ed Thompson, Hazel Crawford, Rob Hampton, Richard Griffiths
Deal makers (l to r): Ed Thompson, Hazel Crawford, Rob Hampton, Richard Griffiths

The Seal name is being retained and the 10-strong team and key clients will transfer to Connect’s head office in Wolverhampton. The move will also see Seal CEO Katie Morris become director of marketing at parent company Morris & Company.

Shrewsbury-based Seal’s clients include Michelin, local authorities, the Trafford Shopping Centre and building society The West Brom.

Connect PR, which is part of the Connect Group, employs 20 PR professionals and has annual billings in excess of £1.5m. Its clients include the UK’s largest housebuilder Persimmon Homes, plus Volkswagen, MAN Truck & Bus and Autoglym.

Connect Group chairman Rob Hampton said: "The purchase of Seal is an ideal fit for both Connect PR and the wider Connect Group. We have ambitious plans for Connect PR and won’t rule out further acquisitions as we look to capitalise on the skills of the excellent team we’ve established within the business."

Connect PR MD Hazel Crawford said: "This is great news for both businesses. We’re looking forward to welcoming the Seal team into our business and supporting the growth of the brand which has an enviable reputation and longstanding client relationships."

Morris said: "Connect has always been up there as an agency I admire and joining forces feels right as the next step in Seal's evolution. This past few years in particular has seen Seal flourish with our performance over the past financial year being our best for over five years. In such good shape, the time seemed right to make this strategic move.

"I am incredibly proud of what Seal has achieved and our enviable and loyal clients and the talented team who I know will continue to thrive as part of the Connect family."

Connect PR used its long-term advisers to support it with the purchase: Ed Thompson, partner at Lancaster Haskins, who provided financial advice; and Richard Griffiths, partner at Higgs & Sons, who led the legal team.

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