Deals hat-trick for Ward Hadaway

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has completed a hat-trick of deals for leading marketing services provider Communisis plc.

The firm advised Leeds-based Communisis on the acquisition of a 49% stake in London-based agency The Garden Marketing Limited.

The deal follows two acquisitions on which Ward Hadaway advised Communisis in May – the purchase of specialist software production agency Kieon and the acquisition of the trade and certain assets of specialist social media agency Yomego.

The Garden Marketing Limited (TGML) is a full service marketing agency generating annual revenues of around £1m.

TGML specialises in creating lead generation and collateral marketing communications for financial services and technology clients.

The acquisition of the 49% stake in TGML enables Communisis to build breadth and depth in the range of creative services offered to its clients and brings a significant new client relationship with a major blue-chip financial services provider.

The agreement also gives Communisis the option to buy the remaining 51% of TGML for around £600,000.

Andy Blundell, Chief Executive of Communisis, said: “This deal with TGML marks the latest stage in the implementation of our growth strategy and further expands our service capability.

“We look forward to working with them and our joint plans for sales synergies are already well advanced.”

Martin Hulls, head of Corporate Finance at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team advising on all three acquisitions and was assisted by Melanie Yeomans, Corporate Finance Partner.

Members of Ward Hadaway’s specialist employment, property and tax units were involved in advising on the acquisitions.

Kieon is a UK-based specialist software production agency, with an offshore development facility in Bangalore India, that currently generates annual revenues of around £900,000.

Yomego is a specialist social media agency that advises on the role of social media as an integral part of broader on-line and off-line marketing campaigns, measures its effectiveness and provides insights into brand reputation and sentiment across social media sources.

Martin Hulls said: “We are delighted to have worked with Communisis on these acquisitions.

“Communisis is highly successful with numerous blue-chip clients and an impressive track record in its sector and these acquisitions will further extend and widen the services which it can offer.”

Communisis delivers a range of marketing services to private and public sector clients in a wide range of sectors including financial services, retail, consumer goods, travel and leisure, utilities and communications.

As well as its headquarters in Leeds, Communisis also has operations in 11 other UK towns and cities, including Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and London.

Ward Hadaway was appointed to the legal panel of Communisis plc in July 2011 following a competitive tender process.

Since then, the firm has advised Communisis on a number of commercial matters, as well as the recent trio of acquisitions.

Ward Hadaway’s corporate finance team advised on a total of over £1bn worth of transactions for clients during 2011, providing legal advice on more than 100 deals.