In this new Agency Hackers series, we’ll be investigating the ins, outs, highs, and lows of an agency sale – straight from the leaders themselves.
Mike Rowe sold his agency, 1000Heads Group, in June 2019 to private equity firm, Phoenix, for a figure in excess of £30m. He’s been a non-executive director there ever since, and says it’s been a fascinating transition.
“It’s like seeing your own child from a distance. It’s been quite an interesting, introspective view on where you are, what you’ve done and what you’ve done wrong,” he says. “I’ve actually really enjoyed it. It’s given me a new lease of life within the business.”
Once they decided to sell, he realised he’d rather exit than complete an earn-out.
“I wanted to exit at that point as having been an entrepreneur all my life, I don’t think I’d have made a very good employee!” he says.
“For all agencies, private equity isn’t always the route forward, but it was always my preference. It was for slightly selfish reasons, but also I thought it best for the business,” he says. “Two years on, I feel extremely lucky and privileged to be where I am, and to still be involved with the business.”
Join us in conversation with Mike and hear more about his sale story – especially if you’re looking for advice in that department too.