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New Birmingham funder launches with first deal

Frontier Development Capital backs team at digital agency Ingenuity to undergo a management buyout

From left: Ingenuity Digital Holdings' management team Julie Wood, Dean Skidmore, Lisa Higham, Dennis Engel, Richard Ellis and Ian Lloyd
From left: Ingenuity Digital Holdings' management team Julie Wood, Dean Skidmore, Lisa Higham, Dennis Engel, Richard Ellis and Ian Lloyd

New Birmingham-based business finance company Frontier Development Capital has launched with its first investment into a digital agency.

The undisclosed deal has enabled Ingenuity Digital Holdings to complete a management buyout of the business.

Frontier Development Capital, which is a sister company of funding stream Finance Birmingham, is focused on supporting regional business growth across the UK.

The support for Ingenuity is the first investment from its newly launched national mezzanine fund which is open to businesses across the UK that require flexible finance packages.

In addition to its first investment, Frontier Development Capital has also opened an office in Manchester to support its dealmaking activities across the North.

The investment from Frontier, and its partner on this deal HSBC, follow a period of growth for Ingenuity and a record 2016 when revenue exceeded £10.5 million.

The management buyout values the business at £30 million and has enabled the senior management team to become majority shareholders.

Based in London and Yorkshire, Ingenuity's brands are WMG, NetConstruct and Ingenuity Digital and it employs 120 staff.

Ondrej Okeke, regional investment director at Frontier Development Capital, said: "This company is a perfect example of the type of business we are focused on supporting - a regional business with ambitious growth plans and a very credible management team.

"Its success to date has been based on its highly client-focused approach, underpinned by robust proprietary systems with such a strong base and energy.

"We are looking forward to working with the team and seeing just how much they grow the business in the coming years."

Dennis Engel, chief executive of Ingenuity Digital Holdings, added: "This investment will help continue our ambitious growth drive and support our clients with innovative new products and services.

"It has been a transformative 12 months with management appointments, new headquarters and a strengthening of our expert team. The management buyout will help us keep up this momentum into the future."

Advisers on the deal were Sentio Partners, Squire Patton Boggs, PwC, Eversheds Sutherland and Addleshaw Goddard.

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