■ Nestled in offices behind Oxford Circus, the Engine Group describes itself as an integrated marketing communications group, which owns ad agency WCRS, PR group MHP Communications, digital shop Jam and direct marketing specialist partners Andrews Aldridge, among others.
■ Engine’s UK chief executive, Debbie Klein, stressed that the group would retain its independence after the £100m agreement with Chicago-based private equity group Lake Capital.
■ Engine’s client list across its 13 agencies includes Coca-Cola, Sky, Tesco, Unilever and Nike, offering services including advertising, lobbying and marketing. Its over 1,000 staff are spread across offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Brussels.
■ The Engine Group’s previous owner, private equity group HIG, started talking to interested parties in April about selling down its stake in Engine. HIG first invested in Engine four years ago, in a deal that was seen at the time as a rare move by a private equity firm into the advertising world. Back in 2010 the time, there were even rumours that the firm would float.
■ It agreed a £62.5m investment to help Engine grow and expand into new markets including the US and China, giving HIG a 40 per cent stake.
■ Engine chief executive Peter Scott said at the time that the investment would help the group reach revenues of $1bn (£591m) within five years. Engine’s most recent set of accounts at Companies House show revenue grew 10 per cent to just £91.2m during 2012, and margins appear thin.