December 04, 2015

December 2015

Equiteq, a consulting sector M&A specialist, is pleased to announce that 1HQ, a UK brand design consultancy, has sold a majority stake to Ceuta Holdings. The deal was completed on 25th November 2015. Equiteq acted as the lead adviser throughout sale preparation and sale.

​1HQ is a Windsor based brand strategy and design agency with packaging, shopper marketing and digital capabilities. With a long pedigree in the FMCG market they work with major multinationals such as Unilever and Nestle, as well as retailers like Tesco. The Ceuta Group is a global, multi award winning full service outsourced sales, marketing solutions provider to the health, beauty, personal care and FMCG food & drink industry. 1HQ’s expertise complements Ceuta’s unique world class ‘end to end’ service model  - from their brand strategy, design and innovation, right through to the ‘sharp end’ of getting products on shelf and into baskets, through shopper insights, category analysis & management, retail logistics and shopper marketing activity. Commenting on the deal, Peter Burrows, Vice President - International Business Development & M&A Integration said: “The Ceuta Group has invested in acquiring 1HQ because they have a great reputation for the services they offer, which are complementary to ours and in-line with our client’s needs. The business has a great culture and entrepreneurial spirit which fits perfectly with ours and that of our strategic business partners.” The investment will allow 1HQ to accelerate its plans for growth – not least in the opening of a new studio in New York in 2016, and also the development of Impackt, their Adaptive agency offer. Mark Artus, the 1HQ CEO says “Exciting times – both in the new opportunities, scale and geographical reach that this gives us, and in being part of a progressive, accountable and client-centric business that we believe is unique in the marketing services industry.”​John and Helen Sandom, the 1HQ founders commented: “When we first met Equiteq they were refreshingly different from the other advisors we saw. They seemed to care more about our business and our success. They planned to work with us to maximise our appeal and potential and they would tailor their approach for us, not just follow the normal process. We have been superbly supported through a long and complicated sale and relied heavily on their experience and their knowledge. Going through a sale is often a one-off for sellers and to be able to have the breadth of expertise offered by Equiteq on our side was hugely appreciated. They have been a delight to work with, in terms of personability, efficiency, availability and commitment to the cause. In a process where ups and downs are expected, am experienced hand on the tiller made a real difference.” Bruce Ramsay from Equiteq, who led the deal, commented that Ceuta’s acquisition is part of a trend for service and product companies to acquire consulting businesses in order to bring additional high-value advisory services to their clients. “the buyer list for a consulting business is not always obvious, and lateral thought needs to be applied to find the ideal partner. I think that is certainly the case here, and a deal structure has been put in place that works for all parties – buyer, departing owners and ongoing management team.” To see all of our deals, please click here.  ©Equiteq 2015