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SI Partners advise consumer brand communications agency Cirkle on sale to Huntsworth

Sector

Marketing Communications

Role

Sell Side

Date

April 2022

Countries

SI Partners have advised on the sale of consumer brand communications agency Cirkle to international healthcare and communications group Huntsworth.

Cirkle became employee-owned in 2018 and has seen fast growth and success in the past few years. This has come as a result of building industry-leading capabilities in corporate communications and digital services, while expanding into new sectors including automotive, consumer tech and retail. Their client list includes AkzoNobel, Pepsico, Dyson and GSK and they were recently awarded PRCA’s Medium Consultancy of the Year.

Retaining its name, Cirkle will operate under the Huntsworth Communications umbrella. They will join sister agencies Grayling, Red Consultancy and Citigate Dewe Rogerson. Cirkle’s Chairman and Founder Caroline Kinsey will exit the business on completion, however the Cirkle senior leadership team and all staff remain in the company.

The Cirkle team consists of more than 65 strategic, creative and earned media specialists from across consumer brand, corporate communications, B2B and digital.

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Ruth Kieran, CEO, will join the Huntsworth Communications Board, but will continue as Chief Executive Officer working with Cirkle’s existing leadership team and driving growth across its key divisions. The combined Cirkle acquisition brings an enhanced set of capabilities, particularly in retail, FMCG and food & drink expertise to the Huntsworth Communications Group.

Ruth Kieran, Cirkle CEO stated: “We have had phenomenal success over the last four years, and we knew we needed a partner to help us achieve our growth ambitions for the Cirkle brand. The Huntsworth team understood this, but also demonstrated a compatible culture and business ethos which complements our own determination to build a purpose-focussed business with its people at its core.
This deal will not only reward our talented team as owners of the business, but also provide them with opportunities and the investment that will take their careers to the next level.
I am so proud of what we’ve achieved together and excited about the future.”

Neil Jones, CEO of Huntsworth Communications commented: “We have ambitious plans for our communications division and the acquisition of Cirkle is the first step in this. Combining Cirkle’s award-winning skills and entrepreneurial spirit with Grayling’s growing global footprint and expertise, Red Consultancy’s brand prowess and Citigate Dewe Rogerson’s financial skill will strengthen our offer to clients in all regions, as well as opening new doors for our talent across the whole Group.

This announcement originated from PR Week. You can read the full article here

I could not be prouder of how Cirkle has evolved over its 24-year journey. It has always been an agency renowned for its team-centric culture, strong work ethic and commitment to best practice which are at the heart of our impressive growth trajectory. The team at Huntsworth mirror those values, making them the right partner to help fully realise Cirkle’s potential, whilst retaining our entrepreneurial spirit.
It is the right time for me to step back from the business knowing it is in the best shape and in the best hands. I am indebted to my team for their dedication and drive and wish them every success for the future. I have total confidence that Cirkle will continue to go from strength to strength.

Caroline Kinsey, Chairman & Founder, Cirkle