Corporate Finance Case Study

Genesis PR

Genesis is one of the region’s most well-respected and innovative communications agencies, employing 21 PR and digital marketing professionals.

In October 2021 the firm won Agency of the Year for the third year in succession in the Chartered Institute of PR awards for Anglia, Thames and Chiltern region along with eight other awards.  It works with clients in business and professional services as well as education, training, health, public sector and charities.

“Luke and his team did everything to guide us through the sale of the business, and to ensure that the price and the buyer were right for us. He was true to his word throughout, and his colleagues James and Charlotte helped collate information and assist in the deal. We are happy that Genesis is now well placed to survive and prosper in the future.”

Charles Arbuthnot,
Founder and CEO, Genesis PR

About four years ago the co-founders and owners of Genesis, Penny and Charles Arbuthnot, decided that they wanted to move away from the day-to-day running of the business. After looking at a couple of exit strategies they approached Scrutton Bland, who advised them that their best option was to aim for a trade sale of the business. Luke Morris and the Corporate Finance team at Scrutton Bland then worked with Charles and Penny on a comprehensive process, over the course of a year. The deal was concluded in October 2021 and Genesis was sold to PLMR, a London-based corporate communications agency working in public relations and public affairs.

Penny commented: “It was essential for us that any buyer of Genesis would share our values and be a fit with the Genesis services and sector expertise, and we have found all of this with PLMR. The synergy has been clear from the outset and we are excited by the progressive approach, expertise and additional resources which bring new opportunities for clients and the team.”

Highlights and challenges

This transaction took place at a challenging time, with Covid-19, Brexit and general economic uncertainty influencing the conditions for sale of the business.  We were able to assist Penny and Charles in reaching an outcome to provide a managed exit, as part of their plans for their future, whilst also helping to ensure the strong succession and continuity of the trading business.

How we were able to help

  • Advising the owners on the process for the sale of the business
  • Helping to research the market to narrow down the choice of buyer and ensuring the two businesses were a good fit for each other
  • Setting expectations around deal value and structure
  • Brokering the transaction from origination to completion
  • Ensuring the business was kept informed of progress, and being up-front with costs
  • Advising the owners on the most effective legal structure for the transaction
  • Negotiating with potential buyers, to ensure the price and the buyer was right for all parties
  • Assisting parties to agree Heads of Terms
  • Working with both parties’ external legal teams
  • Providing post-deal support, including completion accounts
  • Making sure that Scrutton Bland was available and accessible all times to advise and support throughout


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