Karmarama looks to expand following private equity deal

Karmarama, the independent agency, has secured a significant tranche of funding from Phoenix Private Equity Partners and is set to use the finance to fund an acquisition spree.

Karmarama's management team
Karmarama's management team

Phoenix, which recently unveiled an investment fund of £450 million, has taken a sizeable minority stake in Karmarama with the agency’s partners also reinvesting in the business.  

Karmarama now aims to acquire, invest in and recruit staff from companies in the direct, data and technology sector. The funding could also help to build a Karmarama presence in markets outside the UK.  

The agency will continue to be majority owned by the Karmarama partners alongside Phoenix. The partners are the chief executive Ben Bilboul, the executive chairman Nicola Mendelsohn, the chief creative officer Dave Buonaguidi, and the chief strategic officer Sid McGrath.  

Karmarama’s management team will be joined by two new partners following the Phoenix deal. Adam Silver, the corporate development director at marketing services group Fusion, takes on the title of corporate development director, and Charles Watson, the former group chief executive of public relations company Financial Dynamics, has been appointed chairman of the group.  

The backing from Phoenix will also cover Karmarama’s TV production division Kream and PR business Kaper. It marks the third investment by Phoenix since it launched its fund. Recent deals include investments in Jimmy Choo and LK Bennett.  

Bilboul said: "Today’s announcement secures our independent future and opens up a multitude of new opportunities for both our clients and our people. This investment will help us lead the market in the fusion of creativity, technology and data, and we’re looking forward to partnering with other like-minded entrepreneurs to help achieve this. "