Beringea exits Steak after global expansion

VCT fund manager Beringea has sold its equity interest in digital marketing agency Steak Media after a five-year investment that included the expansion of the business internationally.

Global marketing communications network Dentsu has acquired the entire shareholding in the business held by Beringea’s ProVen and ProVen Growth & Income VCTs. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Steak, which was coined from the phrase ‘rare medium, well done’, has 94 employees and is led by Oliver Bishop, co-founder and chief executive, and Duncan Parry, co-founder and head of paid search.

The pair founded the agency in February 2005. The business specialises in paid and natural search marketing (SEM and SEO), social media marketing, affiliate management, display advertising and digital design. Clients include Virgin Holidays, AXA, Swiftcover, Debenhams and

Dentsu operates across over 100 offices in 27 countries and is the top advertising and media company in Asia. As part of the transaction, Trevor Hope, Beringea’s chief investment officer, will step down from Steak’s board.

The partnership enables Steak to both work with Dentsu’s European offices, and to offer to its clients Dentsu’s media expertise throughout Asia; however, the agency’s operations will continue to be run from its headquarters in Covent Garden, London.

Beringea invested in the company in 2007 and 2010, helping the company establish its international operations in New York and Melbourne.

Bishop comments, ‘I’m excited about being part of Dentsu. They take digital seriously and want to be a leader in online marketing – and that’s exactly our ethos at Steak. It’s a perfect fit – we’ll continue to grow as Steak and as a major part of Dentsu in Europe..’

Hope adds: ‘Having known and been successful with the management team in a previous investment, Espotting, it was great to work with Ollie and Duncan again; they did a great job of developing the company to this stage. Dentsu have made a very smart acquisition as I expect Steak to continue to be a winner in what is a rapidly evolving and competitive market.’

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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