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Browne Jacobson advises LDC backed MSQ Partners on MBA acquisition

18 March 2021

Browne Jacobson’s private equity team has advised LDC backed international marketing and communications group MSQ Partners on its acquisition of digital marketing agency MBA for an undisclosed consideration.

Browne Jacobson based private equity partner Gareth Davies, alongside associate Sian Harrison, provided legal advice to MSQ Partners and follows on from their role advising the selling shareholders and management on the investment by leading mid-market private equity investor LDC back in 2019.

The acquisition will see MBA merge with MSQ customer acquisition and engagement agency Stack to create MBAstack.

The new 50 strong agency will boast clients including PSA Groupe, Royal Mail, HM Government, Chiltern Railways, Innovate UK, Church & Dwight, Everest and Interflora, amongst others, and will be led by Stephen Maher (Chairman and CEO), alongside Nicola Nimmo (Managing Director) and James Middlehurst (Managing Partner).

Founded in 1994, MBA is one of the world’s leading independent agencies delivering multi-channel, digital customer buying solutions for its blue chip base.

Established in 2011, MSQ Partners now employs 850 people in 12 global locations. It is one of the UK’s fastest-growing tech-enabled marketing groups specialising in advertising, public relations, design, brand strategy, direct and digital marketing and research. Its portfolio of nine creative agencies include Freemavens, Holmes & Marchant, MMT Digital, Smarts, Stack, Stein IAS, The Gate/Walk-In Media and twentysix, working with many of the world’s leading brands including Unilever, PSA Groupe, Vodafone, Mondelez, BP, HM Government and Elanco.

Kate Howe, Executive Director of MSQ, says: “MSQ is dedicated to building Emotional Capital for brands, driving stronger relationships with customers at every point in the journey. That’s why having a scaled agency that can successfully combine first-party data, martech and comms expertise is so important. MBA bring a shared passion and perspective that makes them a perfect fit for us and in MBAstack we’ve created a business that builds nicely on both agency’s previous success."

Pete Reid, CEO of MSQ says “Once again Gareth and Sian pulled out all the stops to ensure the deal was completed as we had hoped. We greatly value their experience and expertise advising us on M&A and look forward to working with them again on the next deal.”

Gareth Davies added: “We are delighted to once again work with MSQ senior management and advise them on this strategically important addition to the MSQ family. Both enterprises share a very strong synergy and through MBAstack have created a formidable player which will further strengthen MSQs already impressive market position in offering clients the very best in data insight, smart tech and creativity. The deal also shows the financial and managerial value of having a partner such as LDC who have been instrumental in MSQs growth since it came on board just two years ago.”

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