Catalyst advises Birmingham-headquartered ITG on its sale to Equistone

Catalyst Corporate Finance (“Catalyst”), the UK business of Alantra, has advised Inspired Thinking Group (“ITG”), a Birmingham-headquartered technology-led provider of outsourced marketing services, on its sale to Equistone Partners. Equistone has acquired a majority stake in the company from Bridgepoint Development Capital (“BDC”) alongside management and plans to support the company’s ambitious international growth aspirations and continued investment into its digital marketing services.

Based in Birmingham, ITG’s award-winning Media Centre technology helps manage the marketing operations of major retailers and brands globally, including M&S, Audi, Heineken and Renault. ITG was founded by Simon Ward in 2009 and has grown rapidly, attracting investment from private equity firm Livingbridge in 2010 before being acquired by BDC in 2014. ITG generated revenues of c. £90m in the year ending August 2017.

This is the 22nd transaction that Catalyst has advised on this year and is the sixth transaction it has advised in the TMT sector in 2017.  Catalyst has worked with ITG since 2010 when it advised on the development capital raising to finance its first acquisition. Since this time the Catalyst team, led by partner Richard Sanders, has worked closely with the management, also advising on the second round of fundraising in 2014 backed by BDC and subsequent acquisition of Creator.

Catalyst’s team included Richard Sanders, Emmet Keating and Alex Silk.

Richard Sanders, partner at Catalyst Corporate Finance who led the deal commented: “ITG is a fantastic business that has seen impressive growth over the last eight years.  We have had a close and long-standing relationship with management, having advised them through a number of exciting phases in their growth including investment and acquisitions.  The business has an exciting future ahead as it continues its international expansion drive.”

Simon Ward, CEO of ITG, said: “I’m very proud of what we have achieved since founding ITG. We set out to be a disruptor in the sector and continue to achieve this. The speed with which the company has established itself as a leading marketing services provider is a reflection of the amazing team we have at ITG and the continued support we have received from our investors at each stage of our growth trajectory. I am grateful to the team at Catalyst for their continued advice and support over the many years we have worked together.”

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