Windsor-based consultancy 1HQ has sold a majority stake to The Cueta Group, a sales and marketing provider to the health, beauty, personal care and food and drink industries.
1HQ was established in 1993 by founders John and Helen Sandom. The consultancy works across brand strategy, packaging, shopper marketing and digital projects and in the 2014 Design Week Top 100 financial survey, it recorded a total turnover of £5.8 million.
1HQ says the move will allow it to add its “expertise in brand strategy, design and innovation, to [Cueta’s] existing strength in shopper insight, category management, retail logistics and shopper marketing.”
Mark Artus, chief executive of 1HQ, says: ‘This investment will allow us to accelerate our growth plans – not least in the opening of a new studio in New York in 2016, and also the development of Impackt, our adaptive agency offer.”
Peter Burrows, vice president – international business development & M&A integration at The Cueta Group, says: “The Ceuta Group has invested in acquiring 1HQ because they have a great reputation for the services they offer, which are complimentary to ours and in-line with our client’s needs.
“The business has a great culture and entrepreneurial spirit which fits perfectly with ours and that of our strategic business partners.”
Bruce Ramsay from Equiteq, who led the deal, says that Ceuta’s acquisition is part of a trend for service and product companies to acquire consulting businesses in order to bring additional high-value advisory services to their clients.
He says: “The buyer list for a consulting business is not always obvious, and lateral thought needs to be applied to find the ideal partner. I think that is certainly the case here, and a deal structure has been put in place that works for all parties – buyer, departing owners and ongoing management team.”