Realise has been appointed by an investment consortium to identify companies in the meetings and events space available for purchase or investment equity.

The investment consortium has purchased six marketing organisations in the past 18 months and launched two others. Realise will offer its support to help gain events agencies.

Realise aims to instigate the purchase of at least three agencies before the end of the year.

David Preston, CEO, Realise, said: “This is a great opportunity for owners of successful companies who are reflecting on their post-coronavirus plans to consider a new opportunity. In a nutshell, there is the chance to become part of a large consortium and stay with the business, or consider an immediate or phased earn-out.”

Preston added: “Although the consortium gave us a checklist of requirements for potential purchases we are actually quite open to the type of agencies we are looking for and how the deal might be structured. Obviously we are looking for a solid set of financial numbers pre-Covid, a good client base and the potential for growth. For owners there are also many ways in which an exit strategy can be designed.”

Richard John, COO, Realise, commented: “We were in the process of starting the hunt before Covid-19 hit. Now the world is a very different place, but that doesn’t change what we’re looking for. We were having a conversation in January with the owner of an agency who was looking for a substantial sum, higher than we felt justified. Now he has come back with a much lower number. Part of that is a realisation that it will take time for his profitability to recover, but this person freely admits they have re-evaluated their life during the crisis.”

John continued: “They’ve discovered there are other things aside from work and like many of us, have realised life isn’t just about money. After all, how many of us have found ourselves spending hardly anything, and getting by with much less in the last three months? This is a wonderful industry, but it isn’t the only thing in life, so this is a great opportunity for owners thinking about ‘what’s next’.”