Helion Partners advises LDC

Private equity firm LDC acquires Instinctif Partners from Virtuvian Partners

Instinctif Partners, the international business communications consultancy, has secured backing from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, to support its growth plans. The transaction provides an exit for Instinctif’s previous private equity backer, Vitruvian Partners.

Headquartered in London, Instinctif Partners provides strategic advice to the boards and executive teams of leading companies worldwide. It employs more than 300 professionals in 12 offices located in the UK, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Brussels, Dubai, South Africa, Hong Kong and the Greater China region. Its network of global affiliates supports clients in other territories.

LDC’s investment will support the management team’s strategy to deliver growth across its international offices through client-centred, integrated and innovative communications services. Recruitment of new talent across the firm will complement strategic growth.

Instinctif Partners has developed and refined an integrated proposition providing clients with expertise across corporate, financial, public policy and crisis communications, supported by significant investment in digital capabilities and outstanding content and creative execution. Truth, Instinctif Partners’ marketing strategy and insight practice, helps world-renowned brands to innovate and grow. Fees from integrated client accounts now contribute to more than 30% of group revenues, and 2019 has seen a step up in new client wins and continued growth in its international retained client base. Recent new client wins include Google, SAP, TalkTalk, Zoopla and Randstad.

Instinctif Partners’ management team, led by Tim Linacre, also includes Laura O’Connell, Carsten Boehme, Deanne Chatterton, Lucy Cronin, and Damian Reece.

LDC’s investment was led by Lawrence Dean, John Green and Alistair Pendleton. Lawrence Dean will join the Instinctif Partners Board as Non-Executive Director alongside Tim Trotter, former Deputy Chairman of Weber Shandwick and Founder and former Chief Executive of Ludgate Group, who will become Non-Executive Chairman. Tim Trotter brings more than 30 years’ experience of growing international private equity-backed people businesses.

Tim Linacre, Chief Executive of Instinctif Partners, said: “LDC’s investment is a clear validation of our people and our vision to build a truly integrated, strategic consultancy. It’s also a clear statement of our intent to win in our sector by continuing to build an innovative, relevant and modern business communications group. I am excited about our offer, which is delivering a string of impressive client wins, and the clarity of our leadership, strategy and ambition. LDC’s investment means we are well-resourced to grow our position as the home of integrated, strategic communications advice for boards and their executive teams.”

Lawrence Dean, Investment Director at LDC, said: “The communications needs of the world’s major businesses are increasingly sophisticated. The team at Instinctif has built an integrated consultancy with the strategic and creative muscle to capitalise on those changing demands, whilst their people-first commitment makes the firm well-placed to compete for the industry’s very best talent.”

LDC, the leading private equity company in the UK mid-market, has significant experience in the international business communications sector, having invested previously in reputation management consultancy Blue Rubicon. The firm was acquired by international consulting group Teneo Holdings (“Teneo”) in 2015 after opening new offices in Qatar, Dubai and Singapore and completing two acquisitions. During its investment, the firm increased fee income by 60% and created almost 100 new roles.

In May 2019, LDC invested in leading digital marketing and communications group MSQ, backing the existing management team to grow the business in the UK and abroad.