Mandy Sharp takes full ownership of Tin Man after 'transformational year'

Tin Man founder and CEO Mandy Sharp has become sole owner of the consumer PR agency after buying the stake in the business owned by Unity founders Nik Govier and Gerry Hopkinson.

Tin Man team (l to r): Natalie Neave, head of client services; Sharp; Elly Kestenbaum, head of planning & strategy; Paul Valentine, creative director
Tin Man team (l to r): Natalie Neave, head of client services; Sharp; Elly Kestenbaum, head of planning & strategy; Paul Valentine, creative director

The consumer PR agency launched in 2013 with backing from Govier and Hopkinson as minority shareholders. Sharp said this year the agency is set to grow its client base by more than 50 per cent – adding 13 new accounts - and increase fee income by 54 per cent.

Asked about the timings of the share buyback, Sharp told PRWeek: "It wasn’t something I had pre-planned when I started Tin Man, but now felt like the right time. We’d got to the stage where we needed the freedom and space to grow in the way we wanted - and the other shareholders understood that."

In addition, Tin Man - whose recent wins have included Trainline, Talk Talk, East Midlands Trains and Plenty of Fish – is set to move to a bigger office in London’s Clerkenwell. It is currently based at Unity’s office nearby.

The agency also plans to develop its growing in-house creative design and content production offering plus expand its existing Heart Monitor evaluation tool for clients, the firm stated.

The agency currently has a workforce of 22.

According to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report, it generated £727,918 in the 2017 calendar year, when it employed 14 people. That figure was affected by former client Monarch Airlines being placed in receivership. Revenue has grown 95 per cent over the previous three years.

Sharp said: "This has been a transformational year for Tin Man. We’ve become independent and grown both commercially and creatively. The challenge is always to remain true to what you stand for as you grow and I’m proud of how we’ve managed this challenge to date."

Govier, who left Unity earlier this year, told PRWeek: "The idea of Tin Man was born from a lunch on our respective maternity leaves, babes in arms, and after years of friendship. But when Mandy approached me about selling, it made a lot of sense. She’s made a real success of the business and was able to offer a fantastic return on my investment. And I also respected her desire for complete control of something she’s grown from nothing into something we’re all so proud of. I’m looking forward to more lunches, which will now be both baby and work free."

Hopkinson said: "I was delighted it has been a really successful experience for everybody. As an investor, I've been able to realise a great return and I can see Mandy heading in the right direction."

The stake in the business previously owned by Govier and Hopkinson, and the price paid to buy their shares, have not been disclosed.

According to accounts filed at Companies House, Govier and Hopkinson were both paid dividends of £20,000 relating to their shares in Tin Man in the year to 30 November 2017. Sharp’s dividend payment was £82,123.

Last year Tin Man won a PRWeek award for its Power of Nice campaign for Monarch.

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