Rockpool invests in award-winning events agency

3 years ago

Rockpool Investments LLP [“Rockpool”] is delighted to announce its recent investment into Smyle Creative Group Limited [“Smyle”], the winner of UK Event Agency of the Year a record four times in the last decade.

Founded by Rick Stainton and Matt Margetson in 2003, Smyle is a leading creative agency delivering live and digital experiences to business and consumer audiences around the world, employing 70 full time staff with global brands as clients from sectors including tech, media, IT, finance and pharmaceutical. Smyle has delivered numerous international events for clients such as Samsung, Facebook, Salesforce, EY, BT and ARM. Its recent work has included client projects delivered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mobile World Congress, the UEFA Champions League Final and producing the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Ryder Cup.

Smyle grew turnover 23% in the year to 31st March 2017 and is projecting a further 69 per cent increase in turnover to over £28m for its financial year ended 31st March 2018, with operating profit of over £2.5m.

The investment sees Rockpool become the majority owner of the new group, with the current Smyle management team continuing to run the business while retaining a significant minority stake. Chad Lion-Cachet, formerly of the Events International Group, has been appointed as Executive Chairman to strengthen the board with his deep knowledge of the global events industry.

Rick Stainton, CEO of Smyle, commented:

“This is an exciting development in the Smyle journey and, with Rockpool’s support, everyone on the Board is excited about the prospect of taking Smyle to the next level which we all see as becoming the No.1 creative agency in the UK.”

“Rockpool recognised Smyle’s track record, its position as one of the fastest growing agencies, and strong reputation for creativity and excellence in delivery. We are looking forward to working with them and realising Smyle’s full potential.”

Richard Morrison, Investment Manager at Rockpool, commented:

“The global market potential for Smyle is substantial, with brands increasingly turning towards large, experience-based events in response to the growing consumer demand for more immersive experiences. Building on the company’s award-winning reputation and impressive customer base, we are confident that Rockpool’s involvement will provide support to the company as it seeks to take on larger and more exciting projects to accelerate growth.

We look forward to working with Rick and the team as they firmly establish Smyle’s place as an international leader in the creative events sector.”

Anthony Francis (Investment Director), Richard Morrison (Investment Manager) and Martin van Diggelen (Investment Executive) worked on the transaction for Rockpool.

Rockpool were advised by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, led by corporate partner Malcolm MacDougall. Legal advice to Smyle management and the selling shareholders was provided by Lupton Fawcett LLP, led by corporate partner Neil Large, and legal advice to Chad was provided by Pitmans LLP.  Roffe Swayne performed the financial due diligence for Rockpool, led by Anu Tayal.

Menzies LLP’s London office provided advisory, tax and accounting support to Smyle Group and the Management Team on the transaction.

Andrew Thomson and Adrian Howells at HMT LLP provided corporate finance advice to the investors.