Founded in 1996 and now changing its name to Knight Banner Business Information, the group operates through different brands (including Precise, EDS, EPCA, ClipAbility and Media Report) to provide high-speed press cuttings, editorial and evaluation services to PR firms, financial services providers and corporate clients.
Leading the BIMBO was Peter Harkness, who has a history of success with 3i, working with the VC at WHY Publications and Butler Group. In each case, he is credited with producing excellent returns for both VC and management. Harkness plans to ‘enhance and expand’ Knight’s current range of services, with Keir Fawcus, managing director of Precise since 1999, acting as CEO of the whole group
‘We feel that KBI is the best-positioned business in the industry with outstanding service levels. We look forward to taking it onto the next stage of its development,’ remarked Robin Winning, 3i investment director. ‘We are delighted to be bringing on board such a strong management team, led by Peter Harkness, under whose leadership I am sure we will witness a transformation of value in the business.’
Also ‘delighted’ was Lee O’Donnell of RBS who believes KBI has ‘a strong market position and deeply embedded customer base that will benefit greatly from the first class BIMBO management team’.
Advisers to the deal for management were KPMG and Osborne Clarke. Grant Thornton’s Mat Bhagrath initiated the transaction.
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