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Lupton Fawcett’s Sheffield Corporate Team helps add Smyle to Rockpool Investments


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Rockpool has announced its investment into Smyle, the winner of UK Event Agency of the Year a record four times in the last decade.

Founded by Rick Stainton and Matt Margetson in 2003, Smyle is a leading creative agency delivering live and digital experiences to business and consumer audiences around the world, employing 70 full-time staff with global brands as clients from sectors including the tech, media, IT, finance and pharmaceutical. Key projects have included producing the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Ryder Cup, numerous international projects for Samsung, Facebook and Salesforce, Red Bulls’ Culture Clash at The O2 and experiential projects at events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mobile World Congress, and the UEFA Champions League Final.

Smyle is projecting a 69 percent increase in turnover from £16.5m in the previous year to over £28m for its financial year ended 31st March 2018, with operating profit of over £2.5m.

The investment sees Rockpool become the majority owner of the new group, with the current Smyle management team continuing to run the business while retaining a significant minority stake. Chad Lion-Cachet, formerly of the Events International Group, has been appointed to the board as Executive Chairman to strengthen the board with his deep knowledge of the global events industry.

Rick Stainton, CEO of Smyle, commented: “This is an exciting development in the Smyle journey and with Rockpool’s support, everyone on the board is excited about the prospect of taking Smyle to the next level, which we all see as becoming the No.1 creative agency in the UK.”

“Rockpool recognised Smyle’s track record, its position as one of the fastest growing agencies, and a strong reputation for creativity and excellence in delivery. We are looking forward to working with them and realising Smyle’s full potential.”

Richard Morrison, Investment Manager at Rockpool, commented:

“The global market potential for Smyle is huge, with brands increasingly turning towards large, experience-based events in response to the growing consumer demand for more immersive experiences. Building on the company’s award-winning reputation and impressive customer base, we are confident that Rockpool’s involvement will provide support to the company as it seeks to take on larger and more exciting projects to accelerate growth.

We look forward to working with Rick and the team as they firmly establish Smyle’s place as an international leader in the creative events sector.”

Commenting on the deal Neil Large, Lupton Fawcett’s corporate partner in Sheffield said,

“This is another significant high profile deal completed by the forward thinking and highly progressive Lupton Fawcett LLP Sheffield corporate team.  I was delighted to have worked on this with the management and other selling shareholders of Smyle, with support from a multidisciplinary team of corporate, banking, tax, real estate and employment lawyers from Lupton Fawcett LLP. 

 Huge congratulations and best wishes to everyone at Smyle Group – it’s a fantastic business which is really going places and fast too, and we look forward to continuing to work with management under the group’s new ownership structure.”

Anthony Francis (Investment Director), Richard Morrison (Investment Manager) and Martin van Diggelen (Investment Executive) worked on the transaction for Rockpool.

Rockpool was advised by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, led by corporate partner Malcolm MacDougall. Legal advice to Chad Lion-Cachet was provided by Pitmans LLP.  Roffe Swayne performed the financial due diligence for Rockpool, led by Anu Tayal. Menzies LLP’s London office provided advisory, tax and accounting support to Smyle Group and the Management Team on the transaction. Andrew Thomson and Adrian Howells at HMT LLP provided corporate finance advice to the investors.

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