Venture capital company Cinven has sold its 19 per cent stake in Ludgate
Communications to Granville Private Equity Managers.
The move eases the pressure on the agency to go for a flotation or trade
sale for at least the next three years.
Cinven has held a slice of Ludgate since 1991, when the agency was
formed following a management buyout from the Hill Murray advertising
and PR group.
Under the terms of an agreement finalised last Friday, Granville paid
pounds 3 million for Cinven’s 19 per cent stake and an additional 8.6
per cent from the original shareholders of the company, including
chairman Tim Trotter.
The deal reduces pressure on Ludgate to sell or float in order to hand
Cinven an enhanced return on its investment. Ludgate has also set up an
employee share trust which will offer share options to staff.
‘We have widened share ownership, brought on a new blue chip investor,
and don’t now have to take quick decisions about a float or trade sale,’
A spokesman for Granville said the company was unlikely to realise its
investment in Ludgate for another three to five years.
* Richard Pollen, Ludgate’s group business development director, has
quit the agency.
A leading figure in financial PR for 15 years, Pollen joined the Ludgate
group in 1994 when it bought Richard Pollen and Company and merged the
business with Ludgate Communications.
Chairman Tim Trotter explained that Pollen had been asked to leave the
company but stressed that the departure was entirely amicable.