MSQ completes acquisition of Be Heard Partnership and makes net carbon negative pledge

We’re delighted to announce that this morning we have completed the acquisition of the Be Heard Partnership and intend for the enlarged group to be net carbon negative from early next year.

Be Heard was delisted from the London Stock Exchange (AIM) this morning and now joins MSQ in a deal which puts an enterprise value on Be Heard of £20.6m. The deal was backed by follow-on financing from the Manchester arm of leading mid-market private equity firm LDC. Be Heard’s senior managers have invested in the enlarged group as is currently the case in MSQ.

The combined group of 785 staff in the UK, Asia and the USA brings together the complementary skills of Be Heard’s agencies MMT Digital (tech and digital transformation), Freemavens (data analytics/insight) and Agenda21 (digital media) with MSQ’s Holmes & Marchant (branding and design), Smarts (PR and content), Stack (customer acquisition and engagement), Stein IAS (B2B marketing), The Gate/ Walk-In Media (creative and media) and twentysix (digital). 

Bringing Be Heard into the fold adds significant weight to MSQ in digital tech and data analytics, areas that we believe have become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our CEO, Peter Reid, says: “Through the acquisition, we will add significant depth, scale and expertise in digital tech and data analytics; areas that make us more relevant to a greater number of clients in a world where these talents are increasingly sought. Connecting those tech skills with MSQ’s creative skills will make us one of the leading tech enabled groups.

“It’s an exciting time in MSQ’s development, not least transacting a deal and integrating two groups in the virtual, and often challenging environment, that we are currently operating in.  A number of interesting discussions are already taking place between the agencies and new business opportunities are arising as a result both in the UK and across our international offices.”

Ben Rudman, past COO of Be Heard and now Executive Director of MSQ, adds:  “Culturally and strategically the businesses are a great fit, with strong agencies that come together in a multi-disciplinary offering. I’m confident that our agencies will thrive under private ownership in an enlarged group with complementary skills. 

“We’ve a number of group-wide initiatives underway already, one of which is achieving net carbon neutral status by early next year. We believe it is the right thing to do and work has started across the agencies to make it a reality.”

John Clarke, Investment Director at LDC in Manchester, said: “This acquisition not only significantly enhances MSQ’s already impressive position but expands its range of services to provide a truly integrated, multi-disciplinary offering for its clients. It marks a key step in a long-term growth strategy that will help attract the very best industry talent and cement MSQ’s market-leading position.”