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LDC invests in Blis to accelerate growth and double global headcount

21 Jun 2022

Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC has made a significant investment in Blis, a global programmatic advertising company, to support its international growth plans.

Blis is the audience-first platform that doesn’t rely on personal data. As an integrated media planning and buying platform, Blis builds audiences using accurate, consented location data combined with a broad range of rich and powerful anonymised datasets, giving Blis the deepest audience understanding available. It has an international team of more than 240 people working for some of the world’s largest and most customer-driven companies. The award-winning company has grown rapidly over the last five years, with revenues rising to c.£60m this year.

LDC is backing the existing management team led by CEO Greg Isbister. The private equity firm is supporting their growth plans to invest in new product development, broaden its service offering and expand the team across Europe, the USA and Asia-Pacific. Recognised as one of Campaign’s ‘Best Places to Work’, LDC’s investment will enable Blis to double its headcount over the next few years.

The transaction was led by John Green, an Investment Director in LDC’s East Midlands and East of England team, and was supported by Investment Director Karen Mann and Partner David Andrews.

LDC’s John Green and David Andrews will join the board alongside CEO Greg Isbister, CFO Parm Dhami and industry heavy-weight John Farrell, who joins Blis as Non-Executive Chair. With more than 25 years’ experience, John Farrell has led some of the world’s biggest marketing services brands and was the former president and CEO of Publicis Group’s specialised agencies and marketing services arm.

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I’m really excited to have LDC as an investor in the business – they clearly understand the opportunity ahead of us and back our vision to accelerate our growth in this exciting space. They bring a huge amount of sector expertise across their broad portfolio and have a straight talking and down to earth approach.”
Greg Isbister, CEO
Blis

John Green, Investment Director in LDC’s East Midlands team, added: “The Blis team has created a compelling marketing proposition that really works in today’s privacy-first world. They came to us with a successful track record and a plan to further expand the business across major international markets. We’re excited to play a part in the next stage of their growth journey.”

LDC has over 40 years’ experience of supporting management teams of fast-growing technology and media companies to expand their international footprint. Recent examples include healthcare communications firm Fishawack Health, education software specialist Texthelp and digital marketing agency Croud.

LDC was advised by GP Bullhound (corporate finance), Browne Jacobson (legal), PwC (commercial and financial due diligence).

Blis was advised by Moelis & Co (corporate finance) and Fox Williams (legal). The management team were advised by Deloitte (corporate finance) and Eversheds (legal). Debt facilities were provided by OakNorth Bank.