About the Client
Realise is a top 5 UK independent digital agency, dedicated to combining creative vision with excellent technical understanding and execution. The company’s core service offering consists of digital strategy, website design and development, online marketing and full service digital solutions. Realise has particular strength in financial services and media, with clients including AXA, Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Life Investments, Google and Channel 4. The company is located in London and Edinburgh.
About the Deal
GP Bullhound acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Realise on its sale to St Ives plc (SIV:LSE). St Ives is a group of market-leading companies that combines capabilities to deliver the UK’s most diverse range of marketing solutions and publishing services.
Tony Murphy, CEO of Realise, commented: “Realise already has a strong reputation as one of the most respected digital marketing agencies in the UK. With the support of St Ives Group, we can continue to grow both in the UK and internationally by being part of a larger group whilst still retaining our own identity and culture as an independently managed specialist agency. GP Bullhound’s expertise and extensive network across the Digital Marketing sector proved invaluable in delivering this transaction for us. Their long standing relationship with St. Ives was instrumental in identifying them as an ideal partner to scale our business.”
Patrick Martell, Chief Executive of St Ives Group, said: “The acquisition of Realise is another major step in the Group’s strategy to build our digital capabilities. The agency will complement the services of Amaze and Branded3, with a combined strength and scale that puts us firmly among the leaders in the UK’s digital sector.
Our combination of insight-led innovation and trusted execution across digital and physical media creates a unique offering in the market for our existing and prospective clients. Realise is an exciting addition to our Group and we are looking forward to supporting its growth plans.”
GP Bullhound Managing Partner Hugh Campbell commented: “GP Bullhound has had a relationship with the shareholders of Realise for over 10 years, and is delighted to have advised on the sale to St. Ives Group. This transaction highlights our commitment to working with leading Digital Businesses from across all regions of the UK.”
GP Bullhound Partner Simon Nicholls commented: “This transaction provides Realise with a strong platform to support the international growth ambitions of the business, whilst accelerating the continued development of St Ives Group into one of the UK’s leading players in the digital sector.”