Connect Communications announces MBO and spins off 'Devo' arm as separate entity

Connect Communications has undergone a management buyout that has seen executive chairman Gill Morris sell her majority stake and take ownership of Devo Connect, its division focused on the devolved nations, as a separate agency.

Connect CEO Andy Sawford: Targets growth following MBO
Connect CEO Andy Sawford: Targets growth following MBO

Westminster-based Connect has been bought outright by CEO Andy Sawford and directors Sarah King and Laura Blake.

Sawford said the agency was targeting growth following the MBO, particularly in its planning comms, perception auditing and training divisions, and building its strategic and corporate comms function. There are plans to make new appointments.

Sawford, the former Labour MP who joined Connect after last year’s general election, said: "We are very proud to be taking Connect forward. Together Laura, Sarah and I have more than 25 years of service to Connect and we are committed to maintaining the ethos, values and commitment to our clients that has made us an award-winning agency."

Devo Connect, which offers public affairs and comms services in the devolved nations via a network of consultants, has been spearheaded by Morris since she moved from the CEO to executive chairman role one year ago. It now becomes an independent company led by Morris.

Morris had been the majority shareholder and head of Connect since she led an earlier MBO in 1997, buying it from Omnicom.

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