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Lewis Silkin has advised the shareholders of PR agency Cirkle on its acquisition by Huntsworth

08 April 2022

Lewis Silkin has advised its long standing client, Cirkle and the shareholders of Cirkle, an Employee Ownership Trust and Founder Caroline Kinsey on its acquisition by Huntsworth, the international healthcare and communications group. Cirkle, which serves clients such as AkzoNobel, Pepsico, Dreams, Dyson and GSK with consumer, corporate and B2Bcommunications was recently awarded PRCA’s Medium Consultancy of the Year.

Lewis Silkin advised when Cirkle became employee-owned in 2018 and since then the agency has seen rapid growth and success in recent years through building industry-leading capabilities in corporate communications and digital services, while diversifying into new sectors such as automotive, consumer tech and retail.

The agency will retain its name and operate under the Huntsworth Communications umbrella, joining sister agencies Grayling, Red Consultancy and Citigate Dewe Rogerson.

The Lewis Silkin team was led by corporate partner Jo Evans, with principal support from Corporate and Tax colleagues Joe Lythgoe and Matthew Rowbotham.

Commenting on the deal, Lewis Silkin’s Jo Evans stated:

It has been a pleasure working with Caroline Kinsey and the rest of the Cirkle team, on their acquisition by Huntsworth. We have been advisers to the agency and Caroline for many years and we look forward to watching Cirkle go from strength to strength under its new ownership. The Lewis Silkin tier 1 ranked M&A team is second to none when it comes to partnering with clients to help implement M&A transactions in the advertising, marketing and communications sectors - and this transaction had the additional complexity of being majority owned by its employees under an Employee Ownership Trust.

Commenting on the deal, Caroline Kinsey, Chairman and Founder of Cirkle, said:

Cirkle was a trailblazer 4 years ago when it was one of the first agencies to adopt the EOT model. Our acquisition by Huntsworth again is an industry first as we are one of the first EOT sales to be agreed across any industry. Inevitably it made everything very complex as we were breaking new ground. Lewis Silkin were the ideal legal partners to guide both ourselves and the Trustees through all the legislative guidelines as we went on a steep learning curve together. Somehow Lewis Silkin helped find the right solution, always went the extra mile, translated things into non-legal speak and delivered against our tight timeframe. I very much appreciated their advice and expertise to guide us through to a successful conclusion.”


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