City & Corporate: Adventis launches comms push ahead of flotation

Marketing and advertising firm Adventis this week kicked off a financial comms offensive ahead of a planned listing on the AIM.

The firm has hired Citigate Dewe Rogerson for the listing, with CDR director Sarah Gestetner leading the account. Gestetner reports to chief executive Charles Phillpot and the company's chairman and former Capital Radio deputy chairman Peter Mitchell.

Adventis was previously the marketing department of property company FPD Savills, a subsidiary of the real estate agent Savills, which retains a 72 per cent stake in Adventis.

Adventis will separate from FPD Savills through the flotation and hopes to use the money to follow a similar strategy to marcoms giant WPP. Adventis could have a market capitalisation in excess of £9m.

The company made its first acquisition, commercial property marketing firm Gilbert Doyle Oakmont, in 1997 and then moved into marketing services in other sectors, including the pharmaceutical and financial services industry.

Phillpot told PRWeek the company would buy or form joint ventures with underperforming marketing, advertising and PR companies.

The group believes it can increase profits by 100 per cent in the first year of trading after acquisition by structuring buys as an earn-out deal with a smaller amount of up-front cash.

'As with the acquisition of GDO, we often find companies that are very creative but poorly managed. We want to find these, turn them around and bring them into the fold,' said Phillpot, who was previously regional marketing director of diamond group De Beers.

Adventis's other wholly owned subsidiaries are Property Marketing Company and Premium Media.

Adventis has 43 staff and in the year ended 31 December 2003 had a £9m turnover.

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