Word of Mouth agency, 1000heads Group, has secured between £30m and £40m of investment from a leading UK mid-market private equity firm, Phoenix Equity Partners.
1000heads has over 150 people across offices in London, New York, Sydney, Dubai and Berlin. The business has been growing strongly; revenue has increased by more than 20% p.a. in recent years, to £28m in 2019.
The Group provides social media-led data & insights, strategic consultancy, and creative services to some of the world’s best-known brands including Wella, Microsoft, Grupo Bimbo, Uniqlo and Arm.
Phoenix’s investment will support 1000heads to accelerate the expansion of its international footprint and services, with the agency’s management also reinvesting in the business.
Founder Mike Rowe will assume the role of non-executive director following the transaction. The firm will be headed by current CEO Mike Davison.
Mike Rowe commented: “We have been on an exciting journey and we wanted a partner who shared our vision for the future, and who would enable us to grow rapidly while preserving our independent culture and identity.
From our first conversation, it was clear that Phoenix understood our ambitions and is best placed to help us realise them.”
Mike Davison commented: “The 1000heads team has achieved great things over the last few years, growing rapidly, winning new accounts and continuing to build trusted relationships with some of the best brands on the planet. The partnership with Phoenix is going to help us support our continued growth with investment in infrastructure, operations and footprint.”
Phoenix partner Mark Sargeant said it was the company’s vision and commercial performance which had attracted their attention. “1000heads has a unique proposition and market offering and we are excited to be part of the next chapter of the company’s continued success.”
1000heads was advised on the transaction by Tim Birt of legal firm Osborne Clarke, Layla Martin of accountants Barnes Roffe and M&A advisor Jim Houghton of Waypoint Partners.