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Deal highlights Cavendish’s expertise in successfully advising entrepreneurs as well as the growing opportunities for private equity investment in the UK’s expanding technology sector

Cavendish Corporate Finance, the UK’s leading sell-side mid-market M&A firm, has advised on the sale of a 40% stake in MVF, one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies and winner of the Sunday Times Tech Track 2013, to Bridgepoint Development Capital (BDC), a leading private equity firm focused on mid-market buyouts and growth capital investments.

Founded in 2009 by five British entrepreneurs, MVF is a tech firm specialising in online customer acquisition and lead generation. Recognised as one of the UK’s most prominent growth businesses, winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2014, MVF has achieved significant growth.

Operating in 50 countries worldwide, MVF works with over 1,500 clients, including British Gas, Mars and Nestle. The company uses proprietary technology, data driven analytics and in-house digital marketing expertise to provide some of the world’s leading brands with high volumes of new customers that generate a strong return on investment.

The transaction will facilitate accelerated growth, potential acquisitions and continued international expansion. MVF’s five co-founders – Jules Hopkinson and Titus Sharpe, both previously co-founders of Moodia Ltd and Approved Index, Tom Morgan, David Walton and Simon Venturi, who have worked together over the past 10 years on a wide range of successful start-ups, will remain invested in MVF.

The UK online lead generation market alone is estimated at $200m and has grown at an annual compound growth rate of 22% since 2008. Market growth is being driven, in large part, by very significant growth in digital advertising spend on mobile, an area where MVF has strong expertise.

Growth in digital advertising spend and the complexity created by trends such as the rapid growth of mobile advertising, the changing advertising technology landscape and the growth of new advertising channels such as social media is driving a strong demand for outsourced online lead generation to digital specialists such as MVF.

Based in Kentish Town, MVF is one of the tech firms behind the “Kentish Cluster”, a business group focused on developing the start-up and technology sector in this part of North London.

Cavendish Corporate Finance completed 20 transactions in 2014, and this deal is Cavendish’s fifth completion this year. Cavendish has a wealth of experience on advising company sales to private equity firms with previous transactions including the sale of: LogoPaint to Danish private equity firm Erhversinvest, luxury travel company Scott Dunn to Inflexion Private Equity, Freedom Finance Holdings Limited to Pollen Street Capital and Avantia Limited to ECI Partners.

Michael Jewell, Partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance who led on the transaction, comments:

Michael Jewell, Partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance
Michael Jewell, Partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance

“This deal was a great result for our client and will provide the company with the necessary support to successfully expand into new international markets and continue to exploit the fast growing digital marketing sector. The transaction also demonstrates the growing trend for private equity firms to invest in the UK’s expanding technology sector and we expect this development to continue as high-growth companies seek capital to expand and private equity firms continue to be drawn to the strong returns these growth companies offer.”

Titus Sharpe, CEO of MVF, comments:

“We are delighted to partner with Bridgepoint who will help take MVF to the next level. Bridgepoint has proved to be the perfect match for MVF because they understand the company vision and culture and have the financial capability and international reach to support the continued growth of the business. All five founders are still invested in MVF and it was important for us to maintain our unique values that have made MVF so successful, while getting a partner to help with our expansion.”

Robin Lawson, Director of Bridgepoint Development Capital, comments:

“We look forward to partnering with management to support them in developing the business through the company’s next phase of growth. MVF has already expanded rapidly thanks to its strong points of difference and a management team with a proven track record in the online lead generation sector. We believe that growth will continue to accelerate as the business deepens its presence in existing industry sectors, adds new ones and expands internationally.”