Olswang comes good for Photon with deal trio

Olswang has signed off on a trio of acquisitions for new client Photon Group, which has turned its acquisitive focus away from Australia and onto Europe.

Corporate partner David Roberts led the team acting for the Australian communications company, which acquired UK-based Frank Public Relations and Sledge, as well as European PR holding company North by Northwest.

Roberts won the instructions through a recommendation from Sydney-based firm Gilbert & Tobin, which is Photon’s regular adviser and also part of Olswang’s best friends network.

“Phil Breden is the relationship partner there,” said Roberts. “He’s done around 17 acquisitions for the company. It has probably run out of things to buy in Australia.”

Photon acquired Frank PR from its founding shareholders Graham Goodkind and Andrew Bloch for an upfront payment of £8m, with an additional deferred consideration tied to performance targets.

The founders were advised by Rosenblatt Solicitors partner David Fairfield.

London advertising agency Sledge, which was advised by Manches partner Chris Owen, was bought for an upfront fee of £4m, again with a deferred consideration tied to performance.

North by Northwest is the holding company for PR and communications agencies Hotwire and Skywrite. The acquisition involved an upfront payment of £10m along with the deferred performance-related fee.

Roberts said the acquisitions were complicated by the fact that each target firm operated EIS option schemes for employee benefits.