Corporate events business targets new markets on back of £5.7 million deal

NVM Private Equity has invested in its second management buy-out inside a week by backing the team at The fresh Group.

The management team of creative events agency The fresh Group has secured £5.7 million of private equity investment capital so that it can lead a buy-out of the firm.

Growth will now be sought by seeking out new clients in different sectors and geographies, on the back of a 2013 turnover of £13.6 million.

NVM Private Equity is the investor leading the deal, having already led Acal Enterprise Solution on 3 June through a management buy-out (MBO) worth £6.4 million.

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The fresh Group was set up by Julie Besbrode and Nick Porter in 2004 and specialises in providing corporate event serves to the retail and financial services industries. The business also provides products such as video content, design, brand and digital marketing, and launched an exhibition division recently.

The MBO is being headed by company managing director Patrick Howells alongside financial director Antony Wilson and operations director Damian Besbrode. Its co-founders are securing a partial exit through the transaction.

Howells comments, ‘We look forward to building on the success of FY13, a record year, with another strong performance in FY14 having recently secured new relationships with the likes of Home Retail Group and Dixons Carphone amongst others, which will help deliver new business of well over £3 million in the current year.’

According to statistics from The fresh Group, the corporate events market is ‘highly fragmented’ but worth £1 billion a year. The business reports that it is on track to deliver growth of 30 per cent year-on-year based on tapping into new sectors.

Andy Leach, investment director at NVM Private Equity, adds, ‘The business has demonstrated strong growth in the last three years, and has been able to differentiate itself from its competitors with its creative edge and frontline execution.

‘They have an outstanding client base that includes Marks & Spencer, The Co-operative Group and Santander, and are now well-placed to enter new markets.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Management buyout