Management Team Buys U.K.'s Lexis from Founders
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Management Team Buys U.K.'s Lexis from Founders

Lexis Public Relations, one of the largest independent firms in the U.K., has been acquired by its management team for £5m. A team of five directors, led by managing director Hugh Birley, bought the firm from its cofounders.

Paul Holmes

LONDON, April 17—Lexis Public Relations, one of the largest independent firms in the U.K., has been acquired by its management team for £5m. A team of five directors, led by managing director Hugh Birley, bought the firm from its cofounders, Bill Jones and Tim Adams.
 
Established in 1992, the consultancy is best known for its work for clients such as GuinnessUDV, Barclaycard and Powergen. Lexis has fee income of £4.7 million and 75 people.
 
The buy-out team comprises Birley, the heads of the firm’s consumer and corporate practices, Fiona Jolly and Duncan MacKenzie-Reid, together with operations director Margot Raggett and finance director Greg Broadbent. They will between them own a majority share.
 
Birley, who joined Lexis as the third board director in 1995, says one of the consultancy’s main strengths has always been its culture, which might have been lost in a sale to one of the major groups. 
 
“The U.K. industry needs strong independent consultancies which can offer clients innovation, creativity and service that competes effectively with the multi-national brands,” says Birley. “The acquisition of successful independent agencies by public companies has not been an unqualified success; recent MBOs and buy-backs including Freud and Consolidated Communications show the continuing strength of the independent offer.”
 
The MBO team was advised by Pembridge, a partnership co-founded last year by ex-Text100 co-founder Mark Adams and others as a  ‘business accelerator’ for independent creative services firms. Pembridge, which has also invested in the business, will have a minority stake in Lexis.
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