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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Truth bags funding from private equity firm

UK— Strategic insight consultancy Truth has received investment from private equity group Vitruvian as part of a takeover of Truth’s early-stage backer, The College Group.

Vitruvian has bought just over 50% of College Group in a deal valuing the firm at £45m. The deal also hands Vitruvian a small majority stake in all of the companies that make up the College Group, including Truth, which first received an investment from College Group in 2007.

College Group represents businesses with a combined turnover of £40m, including Truth’s 2011 billings of over £7.5m. Truth’s 2010 revenue grew 36% to £7.18m.

Truth founder Andy Dexter remains the largest individual shareholder in the business and all staff continue to own shares.

Dexter said: “The last four years have been a fantastic adventure. We’ve validated the concept and the business model by our rapid growth, our key accounts have multiplied, we have been privileged to win a number of industry awards along the way, and we now have a blue chip investor adding a totally new dimension to our plans. The endorsement of Vitruvian simply reinforces that Truth’s greatest potential still lies ahead.”

The next several years will see further investments in overseas offices to add to the ones in New York and Singapore, while the company expects to hire more staff thanks to the new pool of equity, Dexter said.

Truth will also be looking to add new complementary disciplines in areas such as branding and digital, similar to what it did with its investment in Socio Design last year. However, Dexter said, there are also collaborative opportunities to explore across the College Group, which “is now strategically existing as a whole, whereas before it was a collection of companies that had been invested in in different ways.

“We’re looking at creating something that is more strategic as a communications and insight-based group,” said Dexter.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Very well done to Andy and team, this is quite an achievement after such a very short time in business and in such a difficult economic environment.

    PE seems increasingly interested in MR. Maybe we will see more of this type of deal in the future. It will be interesting to see how this develops and how much debt there is in the structure.

    I hope they do not fall into the trap of buying too much too quickly - we've seen that all too often!

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  • Brian Tarran

    Hi Paul,

    We were told that there was no debt in the transaction.

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  • Thanks, Paul - appreciated.

    Can't say much more at this stage about future plans or the exact detail of the Vitruvian transaction - but I am happy to confirm that the deal is debt free.

    Cheers,

    Andy

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