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Bridgepoint in the News

31 March 2014

Bridgepoint Development Capital acquires Inspired Thinking Group

Bridgepoint Development Capital (’BDC’) has acquired a majority stake in Inspired Thinking Group (ITG) in a transaction valued at £28 million. The investment will support the existing management team to deliver the next phase of ITG’s growth both within its home UK market and internationally into Europe and North America.

The Birmingham-based company provides a broad range of marketing services which help marketing teams join up their production processes, take control of their data and work more effectively with their supply chain, delivering benefits in the form of reduced spend, greater efficiency and enhanced quality.

The business was established in 2009 to serve the growing requirement for marketers across all industry sectors to manage increasing channel complexity and increase their speed to market, whilst at the same time reducing expenditure and clearly demonstrating return on investment. ITG has successfully leveraged the trend for decoupling the creative and execution elements of campaigns and focuses on driving improvement in the execution phase to deliver savings and efficiency improvements. Its offering is based on a marketing workflow and digital asset management platform, Media Centre, which is complemented by a comprehensive portfolio of multi-channel marketing production and support services.

Specialising in 'below the line' marketing activity such as point of sale, digital and direct marketing, ITG's service capabilities include 24/7 multi-channel content production, digital marketing, packaging, local marketing and print management. In the year ended 31 August 2013 the company had revenues of £43.2 million.

ITG's offering provides value to organisations with complex, multi-channel marketing requirements, including major retailers, brands and financial services businesses. This has helped it to build a customer base in a short period, including a number of major international enterprises.

Adrian Willetts, a partner of Bridgepoint Development Capital, said: "Budget pressures and the growing complexity of multi-channel marketing are forcing businesses to streamline operations and improve campaign management, often with the support of technology. ITG offers a compelling customer proposition and has demonstrated an ability to win and retain customers in a large, growing market. We believe that the ITG team is capable of doubling the size of this business in the next five years."

Simon Ward, CEO of Inspired Thinking Group, commented: "The success of ITG to date has been driven by its ability to challenge traditional ways of working and in doing so deliver results for our customers in an increasingly complex and competitive market. We have an experienced and ambitious management team and we look forward to working with BDC to delivery our plans for further growth, both within the UK where we will continue to develop our range of marketing services and expertise, as well as internationally where we have recently had new business success".

Bridgepoint estimates that the current UK addressable market in marketing services is c.£2.9 billion, of which £2 billion is already outsourced and forecast to grow at 7% per annum as the decoupling of the creative and execution phases of marketing continues.

Bridgepoint previously supported Simon Ward in 1999 in the management buy-out of SP Group, a point of sale marketing materials manufacturer which was successfully sold to St Ives Group in 2004.

Banking for the transaction was provided by the acquisition finance team at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Advisers involved in this transaction were: for Bridgepoint - EY (financial diligence), AMR (commercial diligence), Intuitus (IT due diligence), RPC (legal) and ERM (ESG).

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