Digital marketing agency Latitude has been bought out of administration by its management and Vitruvian, its private equity owner.
The ‘pre-pack deal’ to sell the Warrington-based company included a write-off of millions of pounds of loans to Latitude by its banker Barclays, according to reports, as well as securing the jobs of its 90 staff.
The move comes 14 months after Vitruvian’s investment of £55m funded a management buyout in which Latitude founder Dylan Thwaites left the business.
Speaking to new media age, Latitude CEO Alex Hoye said, “The deal that was done two years ago had a financing vehicle that had bank debt in it which was essentially constraining our ability to grow. Ultimately there had to be a situation where that debt needed to be bought out. That’s what has happened in this transaction. It was a buyout and also an investment in the business.”
He added, “Latitude Group Limited was put into administration and Latitude Digital Marketing Limited bought all the assets. All the clients and all the staff are now out of administration and received additional funding from myself and Vitruvian.”
Latitude has had mixed fortunes since its MBO, losing large accounts such as Skype and LV= but also picking up Virgin Games and JJB Sports. It also launched a white-label paid search offering for SMEs for BT Business.