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Endless-backed Adare Group acquires BMC

Global marketing services and secure & essential communications provider, Adare Group, has acquired Banner Managed Communication (BMC), another supplier of business marketing and essential communication services, for an undisclosed sum.

The landmark deal is one of the most significant transactions in the marcomms services space in recent years. It creates a GBP230 million turnover group with more than 1,000 staff and a well-balanced client portfolio across a range of key verticals. The combined business will enjoy an especially strong position in the global leisure, healthcare, FMCG, financial services and retail sectors. Leading global brands such as Coca Cola, Heineken, Carlsberg and Pfizer are amongst Adare Group’s current clients while BMC’s blue chip client portfolio includes Merlin Entertainments Group, Dixons Carphone, Ladbrokes, Gala Coral and JD Wetherspoon.
Adare Group – which recently won a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise – currently consists of two specialist businesses, Adare International and Adare SEC, with a combined annual turnover of GBP170m prior to the acquisition. Adare’s global presence has grown rapidly in recent years, with local offices and infrastructure in 23 countries in EMEA, 10 countries in Latin America and offices in the USA and Canada. Adare also has an established strategic partnership across the APac region. 
BMC is a leading supplier of business communication services to the public and private sectors, and has worldwide annual revenues of GBP60 million. BMC operates through four divisions – Banner Create, Banner Direct, Banner Connect and Banner Tech. 
Adare Chief Executive Officer, Robert Whiteside, says: “This acquisition is a hugely positive development for both companies’ clients, staff and investors. With our combined service propositions, high-quality client portfolios and talented teams we have the opportunity to build one of the world’s foremost marketing services businesses.
“As well as doubling the overall size of our UK business, the deal takes our secure and essential communications operation to the next level by bringing together Adare SEC and Banner Direct, creating a GBP70 million, 400-plus staff operation. BMC’s facility in Guildford will augment Adare’s sites in Huddersfield and Redditch, from which we’ll continue to deliver end-to-end, outbound and inbound secure and essential communications via best-in-class technology.
“On the international stage, our recent Queen’s Award for Enterprise was a reward for consistently strong organic growth, boosted by several significant global contract wins over the past 12 months, most notably in Latin America. The acquisition of BMC confirms our status as one of the fastest-growing players in global marketing services. It reinforces our already strong infrastructure in EMEA while also extending our North American footprint by a further three key strategic locations across the continent.”
Catherine Burke, Chief Executive of Banner Managed Communication, says: “With a shared investor in Endless, Adare and BMC already know one another extremely well. This has helped make the acquisition process especially positive and collaborative, with our teams already working together to ensure a smooth and successful integration.”
“The combined organisation will open up a range of new benefits to our clients and other stakeholders beyond anything we could deliver as stand-alone businesses. A greatly-expanded global infrastructure is one obvious example, as are our much-enhanced offerings in business-critical essential communication services, multichannel, digital visual communications, creative design, print management and countless other areas.

“In terms of sector strengths, the two businesses complement one another particularly well, while in certain verticals, for example the UK leisure sector, the deal makes us the single biggest provider of integrated marketing services.”
Both Adare and BMC are backed by UK private equity house Endless LLP.
Darren Forshaw of Endless, says: “As separate businesses, Adare and BMC were both operating profitably in their own right and could have continued to do so very successfully. Our ambitions are much greater than that however. The new organisation will have the scale and infrastructure to be able to service the very biggest and best UK businesses and global brands. It is something of a cliché in the M&A world to talk of combined businesses being ‘more than the sum of their parts’, but if ever a deal merits that description this is it.”
The acquisition has been supported by Adare’s banking partner HSBC, led by relationship manager Ian Sheppard. Adare was advised by Jonathan Jones of law firm Squire Patton Boggs, and David Hardless of Park Place Corporate Finance.

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