Clearwater International UK advises Equistone on its investment in Inspired Thinking Group

Clearwater International UK has advised private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe (Equistone) on acquiring a majority stake in marketing services provider Inspired Thinking Group (ITG) from Bridgepoint Development Capital alongside management in an undisclosed deal.

ITG provides marketing content and campaign services to key clients including Heineken, Sainsbury’s and Audi. The company has grown rapidly since founded by Simon Ward in 2009, supported by a series of locally funded transactions which saw Livingbridge invest in 2010 before Bridgepoint acquired a majority stake in 2014.

The company made two acquisitions under Bridgepoint’s ownership – creative consultancy Vitamin in 2015 and last year Creator, which provides electronic customer relationship management, also advised by Clearwater International UK.

This transaction allows ITG to continue expanding its range of online and offline marketing services which include a content creation studio, print management and strategic planning.

The Clearwater International team was led by Managing Partner Phil Burns, with support from Directors Rob Burden and Emma Rodgers and Associate Kirsten Handley.

“This is a hugely innovative local company and we are delighted that it continues to be supported by Birmingham financial, professional and advisory firms. We are delighted to be working with Simon and his team to continue driving ITG forward.”

Paul Harper, Partner, Equistone

“I’m very proud of what we have achieved since founding ITG. We set out to be a disruptor in the sector and continue to achieve this. I am excited to continue ITG’s development with our new partners at Equistone who are a great fit to support our continued ambition to develop and lead this sector and significantly expand our international footprint.”

Simon Ward, Founder, ITG

“ITG has established itself as a strong player in the market and through a number of strategic acquisitions. The investment from Equistone will allow for ITG to enhance its service offering and therefore grow the business organically and strength its market presence.”

Phil Burns, Managing Partner, Clearwater International