Fresh management buyout completed

Full-service creative communications agency, The Fresh Group, has completed a management buyout (MBO) from joint owners and founders Nick Porter and Julie Besbrode.

Manchester based NVM Private Equity has backed Fresh’s three-strong management team of MD Patrick Howells, Financial Director Antony Wilson and Operations Director Damian Besbrode in funding the MBO.

The Fresh Group was founded in 2004 by Julie Besbrode and Nick Porter and over the last 10 years they have continued to invest in and develop the business to achieve a turnover of £13.6m in 2013. The initial team of four has grown to a group of 85+ individuals.

The company claims business is on track to deliver a 30 per cent year-on-year growth plan as it strengthens its position as a retail sector specialist, while looking to secure new clients in untapped industry sectors.

“We are delighted to be given the opportunity to complete the management buyout, which is another positive step for the business and fitting that we should achieve this in our 10th year,” said Howells.

“The whole team is focused on strengthening our position as a leading creative events agency. We look forward to building on the success of FY13, a record year, with another strong performance in FY14 having recently secured new relationships with the likes of Home Retail Group and Dixons Carphone amongst others, building towards new business sales of well over £3m.

“As for NVM, we couldn’t conceive of a better fit. There was a lot of interest in fresh from many different avenues, but out of a multitude of options the team at NVM, headed up by Andy Leach, couldn’t be more suited to the fresh team,” Howells added.

Under the terms of the deal Porter and Besbrode will be departing the business and retain an investment in Fresh, as the MBO team, supported by the Senior Management Team, take charge.

Exiting Chief Executive, Julie Besbrode, said: “When Nick and I founded fresh 10 years ago, we never dreamed that we would have achieved what we have today. We are immensely proud of everyone at fresh and the passion, creativity, ambition and commitment they put into every project they deliver.”

Exiting Chairman, Nick Porter added: “The past 10 years have been an incredible experience and one I will never forget. We’re delighted that fresh will continue to be lead by an amazing group of people that we know will deliver the next stage of growth and will drive The Fresh Group to even greater heights. Julie and I both believe that the time is now right to hand over the reins.”

The Fresh management team has retained Julie Besbrode in an ongoing client consultancy role.

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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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