Alantra advises Bridgepoint on its acquisition of marketing technology and services leader Team ITG



Mar 2022
Buy-side advisory

UK – Alantra, the global investment banking firm, has advised Bridgepoint on its acquisition of a majority stake in fast-growing Inspired Thinking Group (Team ITG) from previous shareholder Equistone Partners Europe (Equistone). Bridgepoint’s investment will support the existing management team to deliver the next phase of Team ITG’s development internationally, focused on U.S. growth with its cloud-based marketing technology and marketing services.

Headquartered in Birmingham, UK, with over 1,000 employees across offices in Europe and America, Team ITG is transforming the way global brands operate their marketing. Founded in 2009, the company has already become the ‘go-to’ solution for many major corporations, including some of the world’s most recognisable brands: GSK, Jaguar Land Rover, Heineken, PUMA, Currys and many more.

Team ITG is a technology-led, multichannel marketing activation business. Its disruptive marketing technology (martech) platform, CanopyCloud, is supported by its 24-hour creative production studio and award-winning client services ranging from strategy, creative and creative production, to delivery, performance marketing, TV, film and photography. This blended model of technology and services allows Team ITG to rapidly deploy bespoke solutions built around individual client needs; all aimed at delivering efficiencies and creating fast, agile marketing partnerships that produce impressive results across all channels.

Alantra has worked with Team ITG since 2010 when it advised on the development capital raising to finance its first acquisition. Since this time the Alantra team, led by partner Richard Sanders, has worked closely with Team ITG’s CEO Simon Ward and the management team, also advising on the second round of fundraising in 2014 backed by Bridgepoint Development Capital and the 2017 sale to Equistone. As a result of Alantra’s in-depth understanding of the business and relationship with the team, Bridgepoint asked the deal team to support them on all aspects critical to completing the transaction.  

Alantra’s team was led by Richard Sanders, Partner, and Alex Trevor, both based in Alantra’s Birmingham office. They were supported by Milan Vashi, Oliver Wratten and Josh Woodage.

Richard Sanders, Partner at Alantra who led the deal commented: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Bridgepoint to enable them to invest in Team ITG. Team ITG is a fantastic Midlands-based business that has seen impressive growth over the last 13 years. We have worked with CEO Simon Ward since he set up Team ITG and have had a close and long-standing relationship with him and management ever since, having advised them through a number of exciting phases in their growth including investment and acquisitions. Our understanding of the business and deep sector M&A knowledge were crucial in supporting Bridgepoint throughout the deal. The business has an exciting future ahead under Bridgepoint’s stewardship.”  

Simon Ward, CEO of Team ITG, commented: “Our success has been built on revolutionising the way marketers work, liberating them from tedious administrative tasks through our integrated ecosystem of game-changing technology and world-class creative services. Designed by marketers for marketers, our martech platform is highly innovative, refreshingly intuitive, and extremely powerful. GSK, one of our many global clients, recently described our CanopyCloud platform as ‘the future and heart of their content operations.”

“We would like to thank Equistone for its fantastic support in developing our business over the past four years. And now, our relationship with Bridgepoint is another brilliant milestone in our journey as we grow globally. We have the team and the resources to deliver even more powerful results for our clients across the world while also developing a host of exciting new partnerships.”

Emma Watford, partner and co-head of Bridgepoint’s investment activities in the UK, said: “Team ITG is a successful marketing operations services business with a compelling software offering, CanopyCloud. It operates in a very large, growing and fragmented market that benefits from the increasing need for automation driven by the shift to digital and personalised marketing. We’re excited to be backing the team at a crucial time as they scale their technology offering and become increasingly global – areas where we can provide the necessary expertise to accompany them on this next stage in their journey.”

Whilst Equistone has sold its majority stake, the firm has reinvested in Team ITG through its dedicated Reinvestment Fund. This reflects Equistone’s ongoing support and confidence in the executive team, the driving force behind the next stage of Team ITG’s growth.

Paul Harper, Partner at Equistone, said: “We are proud to have partnered with Simon and the team during this exceptional phase of the company’s development, comprising strong organic and acquisitive growth. We are also delighted to be reinvesting in Team ITG as a minority shareholder and look forward to continuing to support the business’s ambitious global growth strategy.”

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