http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk Proactiveinvestors RSS feed en Fri, 21 Jul 2017 03:32:10 +0100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[RNS press release - Revolving Credit Facility ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170707070003_13287109/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 07:00:03 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170707070003_13287109/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Appointment of Nomad and Joint Broker ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170703070003_13280680/ Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:00:03 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170703070003_13280680/ <![CDATA[Media files - 'We're in a unique place' - Be Heard's new growth officer Richard Costa-D’Sa ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7670/-we-re-in-a-unique-place-be-heard-s-new-growth-officer-richard-costa-dsa-7670.html Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:29:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7670/-we-re-in-a-unique-place-be-heard-s-new-growth-officer-richard-costa-dsa-7670.html <![CDATA[RNS press release - Appointment of Richard Costa-D'Sa ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170620080002_13266237/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:00:02 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170620080002_13266237/ <![CDATA[News - Be Heard's digital agency MMT comes away with more awards ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/179404/be-heard-s-digital-agency-mmt-comes-away-with-more-awards-179404.html Be Heard PLC's (LON:BHRD) digital agency MMT Limited came away from Wednesday evening's 2017 RAR (recommended agency register) Digital Awards clutching a host of accolades.

MMT was voted best agency for software development , web design, web development, usability, and best mobile agency.

Notably, these marketing industry awards are voted for by clients and over 45,000 ratings were submitted by clients for plaudits in 20 categories.

MMT has received 14 RAR digital awards in the last three years.

Peter Scott, executive chairman of Be Heard said: "This further demonstrates exactly why we knew the Agency would be a great addition to Be Heard.

"It is our stated aim to help brands maximise their return on investment from digital marketing, so client validation is the best kind."

Shares nudged 0.7% to 3.575p.

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Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:49:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/179404/be-heard-s-digital-agency-mmt-comes-away-with-more-awards-179404.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - MMT Digital wins 5 awards at RAR Digital Awards ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170616080001_13263000/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:00:01 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170616080001_13263000/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170510172039_13221334/ Wed, 10 May 2017 17:20:39 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170510172039_13221334/ <![CDATA[Media files - 'A busy few months' for Be Heard - Executive Chairman Peter Scott ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7434/-a-busy-few-months-for-be-heard-executive-chairman-peter-scott-7434.html Wed, 10 May 2017 15:34:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7434/-a-busy-few-months-for-be-heard-executive-chairman-peter-scott-7434.html <![CDATA[News - Digital marketer Be Heard makes promising start to 2017 ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/177574/digital-marketer-be-heard-makes-promising-start-to-2017-177574.html Digital marketing group Be Heard PLC (LON:BHRD) has made a good start to 2017 with its MMT arm in particular growing strongly as group cross referrals start to impact, executive chairrman Peter Scott told its annual meeting.

He highlighted business wins with Cath Kidston, BDO and Brakes at agenda21, PPG, Sense, Save the Children and Gowling WLG at MMT Digital and Clyde & Co, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and ACCA at Kameleon.

WATCH: 'A busy few months' for Be Heard - Executive Chairman Peter Scott

In February, Be Heard also entered the big data and analytics space with the acquisition of a 75% stake in Freemavens, an analytics and insight consultancy.

Key product developments in 2017 include a new Artificial Intelligence-optimised media trading service at agenda21, said Scott.

“We continue to explore a strong and growing pipeline of earnings enhancing acquisition opportunities in line with our strategy of building a high-performance pure-play digital marketing services group."

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Wed, 10 May 2017 08:47:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/177574/digital-marketer-be-heard-makes-promising-start-to-2017-177574.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - AGM Statement ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170510070008_13219945/ Wed, 10 May 2017 07:00:08 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170510070008_13219945/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170503120628_13212794/ Wed, 03 May 2017 12:06:28 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170503120628_13212794/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Posting of Annual Report and Notice of AGM ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170419070008_13196313/ Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:00:08 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170419070008_13196313/ <![CDATA[News - N+1 Singer believes Be Heard Group looks “modestly rated” given the firm’s potential ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/176441/n1-singer-believes-be-heard-group-looks-modestly-rated-given-the-firms-potential-176441.html Broker N+1 Singer believes that shares in digital marketing specialist Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD) look “modestly rated” given the group’s potential.

In a note to clients following a “speed dating” lunch with the management of five companies not under its normal coverage, analyst Johnathan Barrett concluded that Be Heard is: “An attractively positioned mid-size group is likely to draw a lot of attention from the larger global mega-agencies that are highly acquisitive.”

He pointed out that the group’s “experienced management team is building a modern focused digital marketing services group operating at the crucial intersection between marketing, technology and e-commerce.”

WATCH: Be Heard chairman says “2017 started off extraordinarily well” … CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news …

The analyst said: “This is perhaps the most difficult, but important area for many businesses seeking to effectively market and sell products.”

Expects added scale …

He added: “So far Be Heard has bought specialists in the consumer experience/e-commerce, data analytics, digital media planning/buying and content creation.

“Cross-selling has already taken off as the key services are offered as integrated solutions. We expect more services to be added to scale the group and exploit the huge opportunity.”

Barrett concluded: “Be Heard should be able to grow faster than average given its business mix. Further enhancement of the proposition(s) should make this level of growth stronger and more sustainable.”

The analyst also provided bullish estimates for Be Heard’s results over the next few years, forecasting adjusted pretax profit of £2.6mln for full-year 2017, up from £0.7mln in 2016, on revenues of £19.5mln, up from £9.5mln.

For full-year 3018, the analyst estimates adjusted pretax profit rising to £2.7mln on revenues of £22.0mln.

Reverse debut …

Be Heard made its debut on AIM back in November following a reverse into Mithril Capital.

The shares were steady in morning trading today at 3.82p having gained around 6% in-the year-to-date.

READ: Dowgate bullish on Be Heard …

Earlier this month, broker Dowgate Capital repeated a ‘buy’ rating on Be Heard shares with a price target of 5.2p.

Dowgate’s analysts reckoned that Be Heard has everything in place to be a success on the junior market.

CLICK HERE: For a daily round-up of all the Proactive news … ]]>
Thu, 13 Apr 2017 10:37:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/176441/n1-singer-believes-be-heard-group-looks-modestly-rated-given-the-firms-potential-176441.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170406084109_13185958/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 08:41:09 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170406084109_13185958/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Issue of Shares ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170405080004_13184187/ Wed, 05 Apr 2017 08:00:04 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170405080004_13184187/ <![CDATA[News - Broker bullish on Be Heard, claims investors are “starting to listen” ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/175929/broker-bullish-on-be-heard-claims-investors-are-starting-to-listen-175929.html City broker Dowgate Capital has repeated its ‘buy’ recommendation for Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD),  claiming that investors are “starting to listen” to the digital marketing specialist’s story.

Be Heard made its debut on AIM back in November following a reverse into Mithril Capital and Dowgate reckons it has everything in place to be a success on the junior market.

“Be Heard benefits from a proven management team with an excellent track record, that is gaining from the synergy value of new acquisitions against the background of a marketing industry entering the next phase of an exciting digital revolution,” said analyst Jason Roberston.

Speaking of management, chairman and founder Peter Scott heads up what Robertson calls a “high calibre” senior team.

Given Scott’s previous successes at WCRS (sold for £3.2bn) and Engine Group (sold for £100mln), the analyst says investors “will be hoping history repeats itself”.

Importantly, Be Heard also gives investors the opportunity to take a stake in the booming digital advertising and marketing space.

Robertson estimates that internet advertising overtook traditional advertising back in 2015, and expects it to represent 60% of the ad market in the near future.

“Be Heard is uniquely positioned as a pure play digital business, seeking to acquire and connect a cluster of best-in-class mid-size agencies,” explains the analyst.

Robertson also notes that Be Heard has a track record of acquiring businesses for reasonable prices, especially when compared to some of its larger peers.

“Be Heard’s first four acquisitions have averaged a multiple of 5-6x EBITDA [underlying earnings].

“This appears cheap when compared to acquisitions made by others that have tended to be in the range of x10 to x22, with mid-size acquisitions and those paying a premium for scale, in the x16-x20 range.”

Robertson has the stock as a ‘buy’ with a price target of 5.2p.

Shares were up 2.5% to 3.95p early on Tuesday afternoon.

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Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:20:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/175929/broker-bullish-on-be-heard-claims-investors-are-starting-to-listen-175929.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170330140954_13177462/ Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:09:54 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170330140954_13177462/ <![CDATA[Media files - '2017 has started off extraordinarily well' says Be Heard chairman Peter Scott ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7195/-2017-has-started-off-extraordinarily-well-says-be-heard-chairman-peter-scott-7195.html Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:30:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/7195/-2017-has-started-off-extraordinarily-well-says-be-heard-chairman-peter-scott-7195.html <![CDATA[News - Digital marketing specialist Be Heard Group has strong acquisition pipeline ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/175654/digital-marketing-specialist-be-heard-group-has-strong-acquisition-pipeline-175654.html Prelims from the digital marketing specialist Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD) charted a period of significant expansion as it started to deliver on its buy and build strategy.

It made acquisitions two (MMT) and three (Kameleon), expanding its offering into user experience, design and build and content marketing.

It also landed significant new clients including Vodafone, BGL Group, Centaur Media and Euromoney.

WATCH: Be Heard boss says 2017 started "extraordinarly well" ...

Be Heard said the current year has started strongly. MMT in particular is doing well thanks in part to cross referrals.

The company said it has a strong and growing pipeline of acquisition opportunities.

The group was set up by Peter Scott, who started his working life with Ogilvy and Mather and co-founded WCRS, which to quote his biography ‘morphed’ into Aegis under his tenure as boss.

The business was eventually sold to Japanese rival Dentsu for £3.2bn. After that he created Engine Group, which was sold to private equity for £100mln in 2014.

The company, which made its debut on AIM last November following a reverse into Mithril Capital, is currently valued at £28mln.

The short-to-medium term plan is to turn it into a £100mln turnover business focused on digital marketing – be that user experience (UX), driving traffic to sites, content or data analytics.

Scott and the team have spotted a gap in the marketplace, explained analyst Numis analyst Paul Richards in a recent research note.

“While the global holding groups continue to add revenue and capability through acquisition, they are often perceived as less able to innovate and adapt as quickly as the smaller, digital specialist,” he said.

However, the smaller digital specialists lack the access to capital, talent and experience to scale and win larger clients. Be Heard plans to build a mid-sized network that combines scale, expertise and agility.

Be Heard’s net revenues for the 12 months to December 31 were just under £9.5mln, giving underlying earnings of £2.4mln.

Year earlier comparisons were essentially meaningless as the company in its current form has only existed a matter of months.

Chairman Scott said: “The numbers at this stage show our growing scale but do not represent the size of our ambition; nevertheless I am delighted with the foundations we now have in place and what we have achieved this year.

“We are already seeing the first instances of our partners working together to offer better services to clients by solving complex problems in the connected world. We'll continue to connect our businesses under the banner of experience, innovation and excellence and we are confident that great things will happen." 

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Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:31:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/175654/digital-marketing-specialist-be-heard-group-has-strong-acquisition-pipeline-175654.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Final Results ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170330070010_13176418/ Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:00:10 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170330070010_13176418/ <![CDATA[Media files - Acquisition 'gives us an entry point into big data and analytics', says Be Heard chairman ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/6887/acquisition-gives-us-an-entry-point-into-big-data-and-analytics-says-be-heard-chairman-6887.html Wed, 08 Feb 2017 10:29:00 +0000 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/6887/acquisition-gives-us-an-entry-point-into-big-data-and-analytics-says-be-heard-chairman-6887.html <![CDATA[News - Be Heard moves into analytics with £1.7mln purchase ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/172761/be-heard-moves-into-analytics-with-17mln-purchase-172761.html The growing digital market group Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD) is branching into analytics with a £1.7mln deal.

It is handing over a mix of paper and cash for a 75% stake in a company called Freemavens as well as paying off its debts.

Be Heard also announced it is launching a £2.1mln stock placing at 3.6p a share - a modest discount to last night - to fund the transaction.

The company says the purchase of Freemavens provides it with an “entry point” in to the emerging areas of big data and analytics.

It also adds a fourth leg to the business that consists currently of digital media planning, user experience, design and build, and content and creative services.

The transaction comes just two months after it agreed to pay over £4mln for Kameleon Worldwide, a content marketing agency.

Bolt-ons ...

These ‘bolt-on’ deals are part of Be Heard’s buy-and-build strategy led by industry veteran Peter Scott who wants to create an integrated alternative to global marketing giants.

"The Freemavens team will give Be Heard industry leading analytics capability, and once bedded into our group will augment and enhance the work we do for clients,” said chairman Scott.

“Intelligent use of data underpins all decision making; our intention is to develop the analytics capability at Be Heard as a central function and resource for our clients.

“Bringing the exceptional Freemavens team into the fold is, I believe, a bold first step."   

In the year just gone Freemavens delivered revenues of £1.72mln and adjusted EBITDA of £410,000.

In an update on its own trading performance, Be Heard said 2016 was in line with expectations.

Trading since the start of 2017 has begun well, it added, with the integration of Kameleon “proceeding to plan”.

“Significant new clients have been won across the group over the last six months and we are beginning to see the benefit to clients of the group's ever broadening digital expertise,” it added.

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Tue, 07 Feb 2017 07:30:00 +0000 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/172761/be-heard-moves-into-analytics-with-17mln-purchase-172761.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Acquisition and Placing ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170207070007_13119226/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 07:00:07 +0000 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20170207070007_13119226/ <![CDATA[News - Be Heard CFO Robin Price to take on newly-created COO role ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/171346/be-heard-cfo-robin-price-to-take-on-newly-created-coo-role-171346.html Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD) has created the role of chief operating officer, which will be held by chief financial officer (CFO) Robin Price.

The digital marketing services group said Price would perform the role in addition to his existing responsibilities as CFO.

Being a chief operating officer (COO) will not be a new experience for Price, as he held the role for the UK & Ireland businesses of McCann Erickson, which is part of the Interpublic Group.

"Be Heard is expanding fast, and needs the right central team to support continued growth and maximise opportunities for the group,” said Peter Scott, executive chairman of Be Heard.

“Robin is highly experienced in running marketing businesses and will now bring his characteristic rigor and commercial sense to the role of COO. This will allow me to increase my focus on finding brilliant new partners knowing that the continued operational development of a powerfully cohesive group is in safe hands," said Scott.

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Mon, 09 Jan 2017 15:25:00 +0000 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/171346/be-heard-cfo-robin-price-to-take-on-newly-created-coo-role-171346.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Be Heard PLC back on the acquisition trail ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/6571/be-heard-plc-back-on-the-acquisition-trail-6571.html Thu, 08 Dec 2016 09:32:00 +0000 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/6571/be-heard-plc-back-on-the-acquisition-trail-6571.html <![CDATA[News - Be Heard an 'agile competitor' to big boys of digital marketing ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/129016/be-heard-an-agile-competitor-to-big-boys-of-digital-marketing-129016.html Everything appears to be proceeding according to plan – and swiftly as well – at digital marketing specialist Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD).

The first set of interims, released in September, were in line with expectations, and the company has made what looks like a shrewd bolt-on acquisition, Kameleon Worldwide, the London-based content marketing agency.

City broker Numis initiated coverage of the company with a ‘buy’ recommendation and a punchy target valuation that’s looking less stratospheric a few months later.

In a 28-page note, analyst Paul Richards said the stock, which was changing hands for 3.05p at the time of the broker note, was worth 4.46p; it is now up to 3.66p.

“Be Heard has the management capability and financial resources to build an agile, interconnected group to help clients maximise their return from investment from digital marketing,” Richards said.

Decent pedigree

The group was set up by Peter Scott, who started his working life with Ogilvy and Mather and co-founded WCRS, which to quote his biography ‘morphed’ into Aegis under his tenure as boss.

The business was eventually sold to Japanese rival Dentsu for £3.2bn. After that he created Engine Group, which was sold to private equity for £100mln in 2014.

The company, which made its debut on AIM last No vember following a reverse into Mithril Capital, is currently valued at £20mln.

VIDEO: Scott on why Be Heard  stands out from the pack IN DEPTH: CEO sets out his vision READ: Be Heard surges as it snares Kameleon for up to £10mln

The short-to-medium term plan is to turn it into a £100mln turnover business focused on digital marketing – be that user experience (UX), driving traffic to sites, content or data analytics.

Scott and the team have spotted a gap in the marketplace, explained Richards in his research note.

“While the global holding groups continue to add revenue and capability through acquisition, they are often perceived as less able to innovate and adapt as quickly as the smaller, digital specialist,” he said.

However, the smaller digital specialists lack the access to capital, talent and experience to scale and win larger clients. Be Heard plans to build a mid-sized network that combines scale, expertise and agility.

Interconnected and agile

“Be Heard intends to build an agile, interconnected group at the intersection of marketing services, technology and e-commerce.

“The group is focused on enabling clients to maximise the return on investment from their digital marketing spend.

“Further, cross referrals and being part of a larger corporate entity position the Be Heard companies to win larger clients and a greater share of digital budgets than would have been possible as standalone entities.”

Building a dynasty

Scott’s approach to his buy-and-build programme is to offer companies a leg-up. Okay, it isn’t a purely altruistic gesture.

He is acquiring businesses with a mix of cash (around 65% of the initial consideration) and equity along with an earn-out, usually over three years.

Be Heard followed this structure with the acquisition of MMT Digital in March. It agreed to pay up to £20.5mln if the company hits all its financial targets, but is handing over only £5.1mln initially (£3.3mln of this in cash).

The component parts

MMT’s team stays engaged and incentivised over the next three years with £15.4mln still up for grabs.

The targets that must be achieved are exacting and are tied to top line growth rates and margins.

The latter point is a crucial one in the Scott formula, because it prevents the business founder growing revenues at the expense of profitability.

MMT, which designs user-friendly web sites and apps for companies such as ComparetheMarket, Scope, the charity for the disabled, and publishing company Hodder Education, is one of two firms in the Be Heard stable currently. The other is media buying agency Agenda 21; Kameleon is soon to be the third.

Synergies identified

Already, the two existing businesses have identified sales synergies and the crossover opportunities will grow along as more acquisitions roll in.

With money in the bank and a reputation for not paying over the odds, there’s enough in the coffers to fund the short term deal flow.

The company has said it is comfortable doing four deals a year and it has the support of a pretty impressive roster of institutional investors (which includes Gresham House, Artemis and Schroders) if it wants to come back to the market to top up its cash pile.

Entrepreneur, investor and Saracens owner Nigel Wray is also a backer.

True to its word, in December Be Heard unveiled another deal, snaring Kameleon Worldwide for, at moat, £10mln.

Be Heard will pay an initial £4.05mln, or just over five times adjusted operating profits, for Kameleon. There’s a deferred £3mln to be paid over three year based on hitting certain revenue targets and further ‘stretch payments’.

Kameleon, which counts among its clients Danone, Quorn and Lee Cooper, is expected to generate turnover of £3.89mln this year, representing growth of 60% and generating EBITDA of £785,000.

Numis Securities said Kameleon looked like “a strong strategic fit” with Be Heard’s existing business.

Kameleon is already partnering successfully with Be Heard and the founding partners at Kameleon are taking shares in Be Heard to participate in the group's growth, aligning their interests with those of existing shareholders, the broker noted.

“All in this appears a sensible acquisition, a strong strategic fit, at a sensible price. The acquisition will be materially earnings enhancing in the first full year of ownership,” Numis said, as it reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation.

Profitable from next year

Numis is predicting revenues from the existing businesses will be £9.1mln this year, rising to £13.2mln and £14.9mln. It will make a pre-tax profit of £1.5mln next year, rising to £1.8mln, the broker added.

“The market backdrop is highly favourable for Be Heard as it seeks to establish a mid-sized digital marketing group that has greater scale and infrastructure than a niche digital specialist, but is more fleet of foot than the global holding companies,” said Numis’ Richards.

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Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:08:00 +0000 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/129016/be-heard-an-agile-competitor-to-big-boys-of-digital-marketing-129016.html
<![CDATA[News - Be Heard surges as it snares Kameleon for up to £10mln ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/170102/be-heard-surges-as-it-snares-kameleon-for-up-to-10mln-170102.html The digital marketing group Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD) is back on the acquisition trail.

It is buying London-based Kameleon Worldwide, a content marketing agency, in a deal capped at £10mln.

Be Heard is paying an initial £4.05mln, or just over five times adjusted operating profits. There’s a deferred £3mln to be paid over three years based on hitting certain revenue targets and further ‘stretch payments’.

Kameleon, which counts among its clients Danone, Quorn and Lee Cooper, is expected to generate turnover of £3.89mln this year, representing growth of 60% and generating EBITDA of £785,000.

Be Heard, led by industry veteran Peter Scott, says demand for digital content created by Kameleon and its rivals is one of the growing areas in marketing services.

"Digital content is a natural next step for Be Heard as we develop our range of services across the digital ecosystem and Kameleon is precisely the sort of agency we want,” said chairman Scott.

“[It is] fast-growing, at the heart of digital transformation and ready to work with us to take their business to the next level.”

Scott’s company, which made its debut on AIM just over a year ago following a reverse into Mithril Capital, is currently valued at £23mln.

The short-to-medium term plan is to turn it into a £100mln turnover business focused on digital marketing – be that user experience (UX), driving traffic to sites, content or data analytics.

The founder’s approach to his buy and build programme is to offer companies a leg up. Okay, it isn’t a purely altruistic gesture.

He is acquiring businesses with a mix of cash (around 65% of the initial consideration) and equity along with an earn-out, usually over three years.

That blue-print has been followed with Kameleon.

The targets that must be achieved by the acquired companies are exacting and are tied to top line growth rates and margins.

The latter point is a crucial one in the Scott formula, because it prevents the business founder growing revenues at the expense of profitability.

Scott and the team will, using their experience and Be Heard’s deeper pockets, help businesses flourish. “We’ll get them to the next level,” said Scott in recent interview.

With money in the bank and a reputation for not paying over the odds, there’s enough in the coffers to fund the short term deal flow.

The company has said it is comfortable doing four deals a year and it has the support of a pretty impressive roster of institutional investors (which includes Gresham House, Artemis and Schroders) if it wants to come back to the market to top up its cash pile.

Entrepreneur, investor and Saracens owner Nigel Wray is also a backer.

Numis Securities said Kameleon looked like “a strong strategic fit” with Be Heard’s existing business.

Kameleon is already partnering successfully with Be Heard and the founding partners at Kameleon are taking shares in Be Heard to participate in the group's growth, aligning their interests with those of existing shareholders, the broker noted.

“All in this appears a sensible acquisition, a strong strategic fit, at a sensible price. The acquisition will be materially earnings enhancing in the first full year of ownership,” Numis said, as it reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation.

Shares in Be Heard surged 8% to 3.675p on the news.

---adds broker comment and share price reaction---

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Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:38:00 +0000 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/170102/be-heard-surges-as-it-snares-kameleon-for-up-to-10mln-170102.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Acquisition of Kameleon ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20161207070008_013058591/ Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:00:08 +0000 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20161207070008_013058591/ <![CDATA[Media files - BeHeard Group boss Peter Scott sees buy-and-build strategy doing “extremely well” ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/5997/beheard-group-boss-peter-scott-sees-buy-and-build-strategy-doing-extremely-well-5997.html Thu, 15 Sep 2016 14:07:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/5997/beheard-group-boss-peter-scott-sees-buy-and-build-strategy-doing-extremely-well-5997.html <![CDATA[News - Be Heard Group looking to bring in more partners ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/165946/be-heard-group-looking-to-bring-in-more-partners-165946.html Digital marketing specialist Be Heard Group PLC (LON:BHRD) said its half year numbers were in line with its expectations as it continues to look to bring in targeted partner companies.

The period to end June saw it raise £8.1mln, meaning it is now cash positive. It also acquired its second partner - the design and build agency MMT.

"In May, we completed the acquisition of MMT, the award-winning UX, design and build business. This came after our first investment in leading media planning and buying business agenda21, completed in November 2015," the group said.

"Both transactions involved reverses with associated longer lead times and higher costs than we will target on average. We are confident we will see our economics improve markedly as we build on our platform with each new acquisition, largely because the central function has now been built and will be able to support a considerably larger group going forward."

Turnover was £14.7mln, while the loss from operations was £2.1mln.

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Thu, 15 Sep 2016 07:52:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/165946/be-heard-group-looking-to-bring-in-more-partners-165946.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Half-year Report ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160915070007_012966534/ Thu, 15 Sep 2016 07:00:07 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160915070007_012966534/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160907163917_012958039/ Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:39:17 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160907163917_012958039/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160907110008_012957487/ Wed, 07 Sep 2016 11:00:08 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160907110008_012957487/ <![CDATA[Media files - Be Heard has much to offer says Numis ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/5508/be-heard-has-much-to-offer-says-numis-5508.html Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:42:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/5508/be-heard-has-much-to-offer-says-numis-5508.html <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notice of Results ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160830080002_012946938/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 08:00:02 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160830080002_012946938/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Issue of Shares ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160721070007_012900580/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:00:07 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160721070007_012900580/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160708070006_012885096/ Fri, 08 Jul 2016 07:00:06 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160708070006_012885096/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160706152512_012882963/ Wed, 06 Jul 2016 15:25:12 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160706152512_012882963/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160706070007_012881643/ Wed, 06 Jul 2016 07:00:07 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160706070007_012881643/ <![CDATA[News - City heavyweight joins Be Heard team ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/127747/city-heavyweight-joins-be-heard-team-127747.html Be Heard (LON:BHRD), the digital marketing group, has appointed a City heavyweight to the board.

David Poutney, the former head of trading at the merchant bank Numis, replaces Rodger Sargent as a non-executive director.

"Today’s changes mark a further step in our evolution as a public company,” said chairman Peter Scott.

“We are grateful to Rodger, whose experience has proven invaluable to Be Heard in its early days on AIM. We wish him every success with his various ventures.”

Poutney has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the Square Mile. He started out with Midland Bank before becoming a number-one ranked financials analyst at BZW, James Capel and UBS.

In his 20 years as a corporate broker, he worked directly on the listings of over 30 companies.

And he advised a number of growth companies including Domino’s Pizza, Alliance Pharma and Mithril Capital into which Be Heard reversed last November.

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Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:58:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/127747/city-heavyweight-joins-be-heard-team-127747.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160701070008_012875888/ Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:00:08 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160701070008_012875888/ <![CDATA[News - Be Heard plans to be a big noise in digital marketing ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/127151/be-heard-plans-to-be-a-big-noise-in-digital-marketing-127151.html I hope he won’t mind me describing him thus, but Peter Scott is a veteran of the advertising and marketing industry.

He started his working life with Ogilvy and Mather (I won’t embarrass him by saying exactly when) and co-founded WCRS, which to quote his biography ‘morphed’ into Aegis under his tenure as boss.

The business was eventually sold to Japanese rival Dentsu for £3.2bn. After that he created Engine Group, which was sold to private equity for £100mln in 2014.

Cue retirement and a focus on family (he has been married to Jan for 35 years and has three children) with more time to concentrate on his growing herd of pedigree shorthorn cattle.

Nope, not a bit of it. Scott, it seems, enjoys a challenge, and as if to underline the point he has come to the junior market (never an easy ride for even the most experienced business founder) with his latest baby, Be Heard (LON:BHRD).

The company, which made its debut on AIM last November following a reverse into Mithril Capital, is currently valued at £22mln.

The short-to-medium term plan is to turn it into a £100mln turnover business focused on digital marketing – be that user experience (UX), driving traffic to sites, content or data analytics.

“The big picture thinking was we had a big gap in the marketplace,” Scott told Proactive Investors.

“If you look at what has happened there was a centre ground of mid-size digitally based marketing services groups… one by one these have been taken out by the Big Four.”

In other words, there is little choice for marketers, but also there are limited options for business owners who are looking to take their agencies to the next level.

The options are: be acquired by one of the major holding groups and become just a tiny cog in a huge machine or struggle on subscale, never quite reaching full potential.

Scott’s approach to his buy and build programme is to offer companies a leg up. Okay, it isn’t a purely altruistic gesture.

He is acquiring businesses with a mix of cash (around 65% of the initial consideration) and equity along with an earn-out, usually over three years.

Be Heard followed this structure with the acquisition of MMT Digital in March. It agreed to pay up to £20.5mln if the company hits all its financial targets, but is handing over only £5.1mln initially (£3.3mln of this in cash).

MMT’s team stays engaged and incentivised over the next three years with £15.4mln still up for grabs.

The targets that must be achieved are exacting and are tied to top line growth rates and margins.

The latter point is a crucial one in the Scott formula, because it prevents the business founder growing revenues at the expense of profitability.

“Everyone has to think and behave in the interests of the group, not just themselves as individuals,” said the Be Heard chairman.

MMT, which designs user-friendly web sites and apps for companies such as ComparetheMarket, Scope, the charity for the disabled, and publishing company Hodder Education, is one of two firms in the Be Heard stable currently. The other is media buying agency Agenda 21.

Already, the two businesses have identified sales synergies and the crossover opportunities will grow along as more acquisitions roll in.

Scott and the team will, using their experience and Be Heard’s deeper pockets, help businesses flourish. “We’ll get them to the next level,” said Scott.

With money in the bank and a reputation for not paying over the odds, there’s enough in the coffers to fund the short term deal flow.

The company has said it is comfortable doing four deals a year and it has the support of a pretty impressive roster of institutional investors (which includes Gresham House, Artemis and Schroders) if it wants to come back to the market to top up its cash pile.

Entrepreneur, investor and Saracens owner Nigel Wray is also a backer.

As the business grows so its ability to conclude bigger and bigger takeovers will increase. That said, Scott won’t be doing deals just for the sake of it.

Transactions must fit his ‘four pillars’ strategy (in other words be in the hot areas of UX, digital marketing, content and data analytics), and, crucially, the management must be ready to commit to staying with the businesses they are selling.

“We don’t want people who just want to pack up and go,” said Scott.

“It is about a three to four year plan. They [the vendors] do well if they deliver strong growth from the businesses.

“Our job is we are there to support and encourage them to get the maximum.”

There is deal flow there, so you suspect £100mln turnover is a just a staging post to something a lot larger.

“We have set our sights at a level where people don’t think we are completely insane,” Scott said with a smile.

As Be Heard grows and fully forms as a diversified business it will be interesting to see how the market values it.

Ten to 15 times underlying earnings (EBITDA) seems to be the range for the sector, although a pure digital play might expect to command a premium to the average.

Let’s be clear, Be Heard is currently work in progress; it’s just two acquisitions into a much more ambitious buy and build programme.

So, there’s a way to go before the investment benchmarking starts in earnest.

Chairman Scott, meanwhile, appears to be relishing the challenge.

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Wed, 15 Jun 2016 10:25:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/127151/be-heard-plans-to-be-a-big-noise-in-digital-marketing-127151.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160606152235_012843070/ Mon, 06 Jun 2016 15:22:35 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160606152235_012843070/ <![CDATA[Media files - Be Heard different to other digital marketing firms, says CEO ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/5102/be-heard-different-to-other-digital-marketing-firms-says-ceo-5102.html Thu, 02 Jun 2016 13:18:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/5102/be-heard-different-to-other-digital-marketing-firms-says-ceo-5102.html <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notification of major interest in shares ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160602070009_012838285/ Thu, 02 Jun 2016 07:00:09 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160602070009_012838285/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160527170002_012833443/ Fri, 27 May 2016 17:00:02 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160527170002_012833443/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director Declaration ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160527152720_012833172/ Fri, 27 May 2016 15:27:20 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160527152720_012833172/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160527152556_012833168/ Fri, 27 May 2016 15:25:56 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160527152556_012833168/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notification of major interest in shares ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160511174020_012812771/ Wed, 11 May 2016 17:40:20 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160511174020_012812771/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160510135058_012810545/ Tue, 10 May 2016 13:50:58 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/14299/LSE20160510135058_012810545/