NEWS7 September 2021

MBO for Differentology

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UK – Newcastle and London-based research consultancy Differentology has undergone a management buyout, with the management team now owning 100% of the business.

James Dickie, Mark James and Lizzie Gilthorpe

Chief executive Mark James, who co-founded the agency in 2013, led the buyout alongside managing director Lizzie Gilthorpe and James Dickie, head of research, who has joined the senior executive team.

The other co-founders of the business have left to pursue other ventures.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Funding for the deal was provided by The North East Development Capital Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Maven Capital Partners.

Square One Law and Mark Irving supported the management team as professional advisers.

Differentology is headquartered in Newcastle and offers primary research and strategic consultancy. The company said it has grown its insight revenue by 107% in the past 12 months. Clients include Disney and TikTok.

James said: “Today simply marks a natural step in our next phase of exciting growth, and it’s a pleasure to welcome Lizzie and James to the executive team.”

Gilthorpe, who will take on responsibility for implementing the company’s cultural and strategic growth strategy, added: “Our continual growth is a testament to the wider team and our ability to attract global brands in a highly competitive marketplace.”

Michael Dickens, investment manager at Maven Capital Partners, said: “The business addresses a genuine need in the marketplace and already supports an impressive list of high-profile customers. We look forward to supporting the company as it embarks on a programme of growth”.

Pictured, left to right: James Dickie, Mark James and Lizzie Gilthorpe