Lake Capital in £100m deal for Engine Group

Oliver Smith
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The Engine Group provides services to brands including Coca-Cola (Source: Getty Images)
The owner of PR firm MHP Communications and ad agency WCRS, The Engine Group, will today announce its takeover by US private equity firm Lake Capital.

The deal, first reported by City A.M. last week, is understood to be worth around £100m and will see Lake Capital buy out existing priv­ate equity backer HIG, leaving staff with around 15 per cent of shares.

“We are very excited about bringing Engine into our marketing services group – it has great agencies, people and clients and a unique business model which attracted us to it,” said Lake Capital chairman Terry Graunke. “We are planning that Engine, ORC and Trailer Park (Lake’s other marketing firms) form the basis of a major, independent global force in marketing services and communications.”

The Engine Group chief executive Peter Scott said that Graunke: “understands marketing services, the intrinsic difference and appeal of the Engine model and has the appetite and resources to support our growth ambitions”.

The Engine Group’s 13 agencies provide services, including advertising, lobbying and marketing to major brands including Tesco, Coca-Cola and Lloyds Banking Group. MHP also advised Fat Face on its planned flotation, which was pulled in May.

The Engine Group was advised on the deal by Ingenious Corporate Finance executive chairman Nicholas Harvey and director Alex Cartwright.

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