DTW splits as founders prepare for departure

Local government specialist agency DTW has divided into two companies to prepare for the eventual exit of co-founders Robin Treacher and Pete Whelan.

The agency's two offices in Canterbury, Kent and Guisborough, Teeside - with a combined turnover of around £1.8m - have started trading as separate entities.

The Canterbury office is now trading as DTW Vavasour, following director Charlie Vavasour's purchase of 50 per cent of the company. He takes the role of MD, overseeing 11 staff. Treacher is responsible for the remaining half of the business ‘for the moment'.

The Guisborough office will continue to trade as DTW, with Treacher and Whelan sharing responsibility equally between them, but the duo hope the ­division will encourage the practice's senior managers to buy them out.

‘The two offices are 320 miles apart and the directors did not want to buy them together so we split them into two to make them more sellable. The senior managers will soon bid for equity in the northern office,' Treacher told PRWeek.

The split will not affect ­client servicing, with the separate offices making no changes to account handlers, added Treacher. ‘I hope to retire in 2009 and this will ensure a smooth handover,' he said.

DTW has been up for sale since last year and was nearly bought by public ­sector ­outsourcing company PPS.

However, PPS went ­into ‘pre-packaged' administration and was bought by an ­asset management company last autumn (PRWeek, 27 October 2005).

Existing clients include The Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company, Bath and North East Somerset Council and Warrington Council.

Whelan - a former publisher - founded DTW with Treacher in 1988. Treacher was  previously Cleveland County Council head of comms. Director Doug Allen joined in 1994 from Middlesbrough Council.

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