MBO values award-winning 
Harrogate digital agency at £30m

IDHL's management buyout, which values the business at �30m, enables the senior management team (pictured) to become majority shareholders. (S)
IDHL's management buyout, which values the business at �30m, enables the senior management team (pictured) to become majority shareholders. (S)

One of the best-known companies in the North of England’s digital sector has been the subject of a management buyout (MBO) which values it at £30m.

Since it was founded in 2000, Harrogate-headquartered agency Ingenuity Digital Holdings Limited (IDHL) – which encompasses the Ingenuity Digital, WMG and NetConstruct brands – has become one of the UK’s largest full-service digital agencies and the largest independent in the North.

The MBO, which was supported by a funding package from HSBC and Frontier Development Capital (FDC), follows a period of consistent growth for IDHL and a record financial performance in 2016, when revenues exceeded £10.5m.

HSBC provided funding to facilitate the deal in partnership with FDC, a new funder focused on supporting regional business growth across the UK; this is the first investment from its newly launched National Mezzanine Fund.

Dennis Engel, chief executive of IDHL, said: “This investment will help continue our ambitious growth drive and support our clients with innovative new products and services.

“It has been a transformative 12 months for IDHL with management appointments, new headquarters and a strengthening of our expert team. The MBO will help us keep up this momentum into the future.

“I’m delighted for the exiting investors and the employees who’ve benefited from their share options and I’m also pleased about the increased control and shareholding within the business.

IDHL’s 120-strong team provides a range of digital services to clients including TNT, Coast and Radley, and has won a number of industry awards. Just this week, WMG has been in the running for the Large Digital Agency–Search title at the national DRUM RAR Digital Awards.

Ondrej Okeke, regional investment director at FDC, said: “This company is a perfect example of the type of business we are focused on supporting – a regional business with ambitious growth plans and a very credible management team.”