Porta Communications acquires Publicasity for £2.8M

porta-logoPorta Communications PLC, the marketing and communications group, has acquired ICAS Holdings Limited and its 100% owned subsidiary which trades as Publicasity for £2.8 million.  Run by Zoe Ward-Waring and Tom Hargreaves, Publicasity, is a consumer public relations company specialising in the food & drink, travel & tourism, retail, home and fashion sectors.

publicasityThe agency’s 28 staff will relocate to Porta’s head office in Basinghall Street following the completion of the acquisition, and will work alongside Porta’s existing consumer PR company, Thirteen Communications.

In 2013 Publicasity produced profit before tax of £527,567 on a gross profit (fee income) of £3,073,712. Total assets less current liabilities were £2,165,714, including cash of £382,986.

Details of the acquisition

The consideration of £2,808,000 will be paid as £702,000 in cash, £702,000 in loan notes, with the balance of £1,404,000 in the form of 14,040,000 Porta ordinary 10p shares at 10p each.  The loan notes carry a coupon of 6 per cent and are redeemable for cash 12 months from the date of issue.  

The share consideration is subject to a 24 month lock-in period with a further 12 month orderly market period.  A further 2,457,000 Ordinary Shares may be issued as additional consideration should certain conditions be satisfied. However, both parties do not expect additional consideration shares to be issued at this time.

Commenting on the acquisition, Porta Chief Executive David Wright said:

“Publicasity will work alongside Thirteen Communications to create a far bigger and more diversified consumer PR offering within Porta.  This acquisition along with the previous acquisitions of WSM Print & Design and Digital, Redleaf Polhill and PPS made in 2014, mean that Porta is successfully progressing its acquisition strategy to supplement the strong organic growth in our existing dynamic businesses.  The acquisition of Publicasity should greatly enhance our ability to build a successful leading international brand given the quality of both teams and is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2015.”

UK, London

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