An offer to buy the trading assets and liabilities of Kaizo, the PR and Digital communications agency, from its PLUS listed parent company, The Argyll Consultancies PLC, has been made by the four executive directors of both Argyll and Kaizo, who make up the agency’s current management team.
The bid, which is subject to shareholder approval, is led by MD Rhodri Harries and Steph MacLeod, alongside Crispin Manners and Rosemary Brook. On successful completion, the bid will see the business transferred to a new Ltd company to be known as Kaizo. The offer will be voted on at Argyll’s forthcoming AGM on 27th July 2011.
Under the terms of the proposed sale the Kaizo name and all other elements of the business will remain as they currently are. The proposed MBO means Kaizo will be wholly owned by the current management team, who have been responsible for running the business in recent years
Rhodri Harries, managing director, said:
“Over the last few years we have built a great reputation for our work, particularly in relation to social media and big brand campaigns, and have won many awards across multiple categories for clients including Unilever and Cisco, but we have not achieved the growth we sought.
“Becoming a private Ltd company wholly owned by its management will open up a range of exciting opportunities and incentives for those that work for us.”
“This new chapter is very exciting for all of us. We intend to launch a number of new client innovations built on this enhanced entrepreneurial mindset and look forward to developing the Kaizo business into one of the most admired integrated PR and Digital consultancies in the UK.”
Kaizo’s clients include Cisco, CA Technologies, Unilever, Johnson and Johnson, Serco, and Elsevier. Recent client wins have included, MXData, BlaBlacar, Coffee and Health (Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee), and Wall Street Institute.
If approved by shareholders, the deal will result in The Argyll Consultancies PLC becoming a cash shell, which, in a separate move, will acquire Evergreen Oil Limited, a biofuel company. Evergreen shareholders will control the majority of the shares in Argyll following this.
The simultaneous sale of Kaizo and the acquisition of Evergreen Oil, which are subject to shareholder approval, meet the Argyll Board’s twin objectives of enhancing value to shareholders and giving the current and future generation of Kaizo’s management ownership of the business.
Rhodri Harries joined Kaizo as MD in 2007 from WPP owned GCI London where he was Deputy MD. Stephanie Macleod joined from Bite Communications in 2009 and was made an Argyll Director in 2010. Crispin Manners, a former chairman of the PRCA, was CEO of Argyll from 1990 until 2007. Rosemary Brook, a former President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, a Past Master of the City of London Guild of Public Relations Practitioners, a Trustee and current chairman of the Industry and Parliament Trust Executive Committee, has been executive chairman of Argyll since 2005.