The purchase price consists of €166m in cash, €16m in notes and deferred purchase obligations, and €19m of restricted FTI stock. Advent will receive around €70m in cash in return for its stake. Of the deal, Watson says: “We believe this partnership is a perfect commercial, cultural and strategic fit for FD. We live and operate in complementary markets and practices where we enjoy numerous relationships and interests in common.”
Advent acquired FD in July 2003 from advertising business Cordiant Group Communications for £26m. John Singer, an Advent managing director, joined the board. Under Advent’s management, the company has grown from 180 employees to 450 and from nine to 17 offices across the globe. It now has over 750 clients and expects to achieve revenues of above €93m for 2006. FD’s services include financial PR, investor relations, crisis and issues management and corporate, business-to-business and business-to-consumer communications. Its clients include Advent International, Gilde Buyout Partners, Cinven and law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner.
The business services sector is one which had proven popular with Advent; the firm has been operating there for 17 years, making over 60 investments worldwide. Including Euroloc, a Spanish construction rental company, Gruppo Argenta, an Italian vending machine operator, Intercity, a Turksi car fleet rental operator, the UK’s Alexander Mann, a staffing and outsourcing business, and Elior, the French contracted food service business which it floated IPO on Premier Marche in 2000 (Elior is now being taken private by French private equity firm Bercy Investissement for over €2bn).