October 2015

  • Client : Dare Digital Limited
  • Activity : New Digital Agency
  • Sector : Media & Digital Technology
  • Acquired by: Oliver Group Limited
  • Transaction Type:

What our client said

"It was a pleasure to work with the Cavendish team, led by Linda Sullivan. As well as displaying a deep understanding of our sector, they also made every effort to get under the skin of our business, which ensured that we were fully aligned from start to finish. In particular, I was hugely impressed by the way in which Linda conducted the process with a calm authority and professionalism throughout. She is a class act.

We are delighted with the outcome and feel that we have found the perfect partner for Dare in the Oliver Group. I would have no hesitation in recommending Cavendish to my peers in the industry.”

Mark Collier, Non-Executive Chairman of Dare

Cavendish Corporate Finance is pleased to have advised on the sale of Dare Digital Limited (“Dare”), the leading “New Digital” agency to Oliver Group Limited, (“OLIVER”), the fastest growing independent agency in the UK.

Founded in 2000 by Mark Collier, the former Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) joint managing director, Dare is one of Britain’s great digital success stories. One of the first digital agencies to be established in the UK, Dare quickly grew to become a leader in its field and was sold to Canadian marketing group Cossette in 2007.

Currently owned by EDC Communications Limited, a group of marketing services companies back by the US private equity firm Mill Road Capital, Dare has established itself as an innovative ‘New Digital’ agency providing a full range of creative digital services including platform design and build, experience planning, brand repositioning and content programmes.

Dare, was previously recognised as Campaign’s Digital Agency of the Decade, listed by Fast Company as one of their 50 most innovative companies in the world and recently recognised by its clients at the RAR Digital Awards as the leading agency for Creativity and Innovation.

Dare works with companies across a wide variety of sectors and has led a number of well-known campaigns. Its clients include an array of global blue-chip brands including Investec, Nike, Barclays, The Foundry, Sainsbury’s, Ryanair and Vision Express.

With this acquisition Dare will remain a standalone agency brand operating within OLIVER and the transaction will enable both businesses to benefit by combining their unique areas of expertise – Dare with its strong digital offering and established brand and OLIVER with its fast-growth “agency inside” model.

With digital continuing to grow at a rapid pace, fuelled by the move towards mobile and demand for richer content, and digital advertising spend globally expected to reach $170bn this year, the market opportunity is significant for the enlarged group to continue its path of fast growth and market penetration internationally.

Linda Sullivan, Partner and Head of Media and Digital at Cavendish Corporate Finance, commented:

“For both Dare and OLIVER this deal was great result, bringing together two unique companies both with established track records and robust client bases. More fundamentally, we are also seeing an industry shift towards the ground-breaking “agency-inside” model that OLIVER is successfully pioneering and this represents a significant opportunity for the enlarged group moving forward. The marketing services sector is buoyant and with the continued speed of digital evolution continuing to shape the landscape we expect M&A to be a route for a number of industry players looking to strengthen their market positions.”


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