Arun Sudhaman 01 Aug 2013 // 6:00AM GMT
LONDON--CCgroup managing director Richard Fogg has led a management buy-out of the technology PR firm.
The deal sees Fogg and head of telecoms Paul Nolan become majority shareholders in the firm. Former owner Ian McCann will retain a minority stake in the business and become a non-executive director of the agency.
In addition, media entrepreneur Tim Trotter becomes non-executive chairman, with a minority stake. The remaining shares, said Fogg, will be held in trust to "incentivise staff or attract individuals who we think will help us achieve our vision."
CCgroup, which focuses on telecoms, clean tech and financial services tech, recorded fee income of $3.5m in 2012, an increase of 10 percent on the year before. The agency employs 23 staff, including sister consumer PR firm Escapade, which is included in the deal.
For Fogg, the MBO comes 13 years after he joined the agency as an intern, and marks the culmination of a two-year process.
"There really was no better time to do it," he told the Holmes Report. "I’m sure you can drag these things out for decades. It’s that flexibility to do my own thing. It’s that enjoyment of helping companies win what they deserve, and we’ve got the team already in place to do that."
The new owners begin by announcing a slew of promotions. Lynne Goddard becomes MD of Escapade, with Nicole Littlewood stepping up to associate director. In addition, Daniel Lowther takes over as the head of CCgroup’s financial services technology stream, while Duncan McKean also joins the senior management team as an associate director.
“We’re buying a robust company with an excellent offer – but it’s CCgroup’s phenomenal potential that drove the deal,” said Fogg. “We’ve already started boosting investment in resources, platforms and personnel to help realise this potential.”
Fogg said that the CCgroup would focus on three things in the short term: improving its own marketing; bringing in new offerings and services; and, implementing new ways of working.
"We’re trying to empower people as much as possible," he said. PR is starting to return full circle back to a dictionary definition of PR. We’re OK being behind trend but we want to be ahead of the market."