VSS-backed company completes second bolt on this week

Marketing company Loewy, the recipient of $24 million of growth capital from buyout firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson, has bolted on two acquisitions this week.

Marketing company Loewy, backed by growth capital from media and communications buyout firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson, has bought Mantra Public Relations in a second bolt on in a week for an undisclosed sum.

It also acquired design packaging operation Epoch earlier this week for £10 million ($20 million, €15 million) on the condition the company’s budgets are met over the next three years. The two investments come after Veronis Suhler Stevenson invested $24 million (€17 million) of growth capital in Loewy.

The deal will place Loewy as one of the top 15 in the UK PR sector with a third of Loewy’s 350 staff engaged in PR activity. Following the acquisition Loewy’s PR focus covers consumer, corporate, technology, and public sector expertise. Loewy’s turnover will increase to £47 million after the deal.

Mantra was co-founded in 2000 by Debbie Wosskow and Lawrence Dore, former employees of Brunswick and Citigate Dewe Rogerson. It has a client list including UK newspaper Financial Times, UK magazine Economist, and UK TV channel ITV.
Wosskow was profiled as one of Management Today’s top 35 Business Women in 2004.

Loewy is the tenth investment by the VSS Structured Capital Fund, which provides non-control capital to mid-market media companies in North America and Europe. Previous investments include German newspaper Berliner Verlag, UK TV company ITN Networks and advertising company TMP Worldwide.

According to figures published by VSS, marketing services will be the largest and fastest growing communications sector in the next four years – with a market size of $455 billion expected by 2010. The communications industry as a whole is also forecast to grow to $1.2 trillion in the same period, equivalent to an annual growth rate of 6.6 percent.