Green Square advises Circle Research on its sale to Next 15

20th July 2017

Green Square Associates is pleased to have advised the shareholders of Circle Research, one of the UK’s most highly respected B2B strategic insight consultancies, on its sale to Next Fifteen Communications Group plc.

Based in London, Circle specialises in research-led solutions for clients’ specific brand marketing issues and delivers measurable commercial success.

Circle’s largely blue-chip client base includes Vodafone, Google, Mastercard and Facebook and the agency holds the prestigious MRS Best Agency Award.

Next 15 consists of 17 agencies and employs over 1,600 people across 14 countries. Its capabilities include Digital Content, Full-Service marketing, PR, Public Affairs, Marketing Technology and Market Research. Circle will join Next 15’s insights group, MIG Global.

The acquisition represents an excellent cultural and strategic fit for both parties, with Circle bringing significant B2B insight capability and Next 15 providing the digital insight technology and international footprint Circle needs.

David Willan, retiring Chairman, Circle commented:

“For me, Next 15 represents the perfect home for Circle. The strategic and operational rationale was clear from the outset and the chemistry is superb. I am pleased to be leaving the business in such capable hands. Green Square are a breath of fresh air in the stuffy world of M&A. They combine significant financial nous with an excellent understanding of our industry and a relentless determination – verging on the obsession – to always do what’s best for their clients. In our case they showed considerable resilience in securing the best possible outcome for Circle. After an earlier transaction fell down at the last hurdle (through absolutely no fault of Green Square’s) they came up with a new list of potential buyers in short order, very quickly identified another excellent home for Circle and negotiated the perfect outcome for all parties. Andrew, Tony and the team are an absolute pleasure to work with and constantly reinforce the sense that, whatever the situation, they’re always on your side”

Beth Pearson, Joint Managing Director, Circle commented:

“We’re confident that joining MIG and Next 15 is a positive move for Circle’s clients and team. MIG shares our core values – great work, delighted clients and happy people – and will enhance our offering by bringing cutting-edge research technology and an on-the-ground international presence.” 

Tony Walford, Partner, Green Square commented:

“We have known Circle for four years and worked with the management team as they honed their offer, expanded their client base, developed their staff and improved their financial performance. They are a fantastic group of people and it was a privilege to be alongside them on the journey. We wish them the very best with the new opportunities Next 15 brings and their continued, and well deserved, success”