Lead Forensics

In 2019 CEO Peter Reid and the management team of MSQ Partners secured a significant investment when they chose to partner with LDC.

PORTFOLIO

MSQ Partners: Multi-disciplinary growth plans

Private equity investment and expertise supports acquisitive and organic growth at marketing and communications group.

MSQ Partners is a multi-disciplinary group of digital, creative, branding and PR agencies.

Deal type
  • Secondary buyout
Deal value

£37.5m

MSQ is a leading tech-enabled marketing group, helping brands earn superior emotional capital to attract, convert, retain and grow valuable customers.

The international group employs around 1,000 colleagues across 13 offices in the UK, Asia and the USA. MSQ’s group of agencies incorporate incorporate Freemavens (research & insights), Holmes & Marchant (branding & design), MMT Digital (Web & Digital Product Development), Smarts (PR and content), MBAstack (customer acquisition), Stein IAS (B2B marketing), The Gate (creative and media), Walk-In Media (full-service media), twentysix (full-service digital) and Brave Spark (creative production studio).

Key clients include Unilever, Stellantis, Vodafone, Mondelez, Cancer Research UK and Elanco.

A private equity partnership with LDC is helping MSQ Partners to grow rapidly via acquisitions. In three years, the company has tripled in value.

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We value LDC’s support, including that of our buy and build strategy, and we’re excited about the scale of opportunities.”
Peter Reid, CEO
MSQ Partners

Supporting a dynamic group

In May 2019 the group’s management team secured a significant investment when they chose to partner with LDC in a deal that valued the business at £37.5m.

The backing is helping the group to accelerate the roll-out of its successful multi-disciplinary model beyond London, sustain the continued growth of its individual agencies and support acquisitions.

Adding value

Shortly after the partnership was announced, industry heavyweight, Charles Courtier, was appointed Non-Executive Chairman to support Co-Founder and Chief Executive Peter Reid.

Charles has more than 30 years’ experience in the advertising industry and was CEO of WPP’s global media agency MEC until 2017, where he was responsible for 6,000 people across 80 markets. During his tenure, initially based in New York and latterly in London, MEC quadrupled in size to become a $1bn business and one of the world’s top five media agencies.

Clear intentions

In 2020, MSQ completed the £20.6m public to private acquisition of the Be Heard Partnership with £6m of follow on funding support from LDC. The transaction confirms Be Heard’s delisting from the London Stock Exchange (AIM) and is part of MSQ’s ambitious buy and build strategy, designed to enhance its multi-disciplinary capabilities, particularly in tech and data analytics.

In early 2021, Smarts, part of MSQ, launched a new business in the US to expand its focus on popular culture and entertainment.

Later in 2021, MSQ acquired  digital marketing agency MBA and merged it with its customer acquisition and engagement shop, Stack. It also acquired the award-winning creative production studio Brave Spark and Elmwood, merging it with its Holmes & Marchant agency to create an international design powerhouse.

MSQ has also become one of the first marketing groups of its size to be Carbon Negative.