Penryn copywriting firm Radix Communications, who count companies such as Amazon, Dell and Zerox as clients, has completed a management buyout (MBO), with founder and CEO Fiona Campbell-Howes selling her majority shareholdings to Operations Director Sophie Reynolds and Creative Director David McGuire.
Radix is one of the country’s top business to business tech copywriting firms, creating written, video, and audio content for businesses in the form of creative advertising, blog posts, infographics, and other targetted content. They also offer marketing management programs for clients as well.
Fiona said: “I’d been looking for a way that the business could remain and flourish, but I wouldn’t be running it anymore. The normal path is that you sell to a bigger agency, but the agencies we would probably be selling to wouldn’t have been based around here. So we wouldn’t have been able to guarantee that Radix would remain as it is here.”
“We talked about it between us, and when the option of the MBO came up, it seemed like a really good solution.”
An MBO is where the controlling share in a business is purchased by executive directors and/or managers from within the company.
Sophie has been with Radix for 6 years, and has been working as Operations Director since 2014.
On taking over the business, Sophie said: “Initially I thought it was too big of a challenge, but then one day I had a revelation. I looked at the team and thought ‘they’re brilliant’, and that it will be too good not to go for it.
David joined the company a year later in 2015, when he merged his previous agency, Lungfish, with Radix, stepping into the roll of Creative Director.
When asked about the MBO, David said: “It took a lot of thought, because it’s a lot of responsibility taking on the livelihoods for a team of this size, and a group of very discerning clients whom we need to keep providing a really brilliant service for. It took a lot of thought and soul searching to be certain that it’s absolutely the right thing for us, our colleagues, and the clients as well.”
“We don’t know what Brexit’s going to do to the UK economy, so we’re offsetting against that risk”
Fiona will remain as CEO until November 2020 to aid the transition of the company in that period. She said: “We have a plan for next year, and we are looking for growth. Probably not as great an increment as we have done this year, because we’ve got things like Brexit coming, and we’re not sure what that’s going to do for growth.”
“The centre of the tech industry is America, so we’ve got a lot of client business there anyway and we’re looking to expand that. It’s the natural thing to do, but also because we don’t know what Brexit’s going to do to the UK economy, so we’re offsetting against that risk by expanding more overseas as well.”
On the transition period David said: “[for now] it’s the same as it’s ever been: writing the best possible work and giving the best possible service to our client base. So far so good, but it’s only day 2!”