September 1, 2020 | Deals

GCA Altium advises Bonnier Ventures on the sale of Real Agency Group to management

GCA Altium has acted as exclusive financial advisor to Bonnier Ventures, the venture arm of media group Bonnier, on the sale of Real Agency Group, a Nordic agency network connecting leading digital communications specialists across the region, to management.

Real Agency Group (RAG) is the parent company that owns the digital communications agencies Oh My group, Spoon group, The Domain Was Taken, KIT, Spoon Marketing Tech and Trickle. RAG has offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Halmstad, Härnösand, Piteå, Luleå, Skellefteå, Oslo, Helsinki and London.

Bonnier had been looking for new owners for RAG for some time, and although several major players have been interested in acquiring the business, it was important to all parties involved to find the right fit, which was, eventually, a management buy-out. The original founders of agencies Spoon and Oh My, together with 13 other leaders and managers within RAG, have acquired all the shares in the company.

“It’s been fantastic working with Bonnier,” said Anders Ribba, CEO of Real Agency Group and a founder of Spoon. “But they reevaluated their strategy and portfolio and decided they wanted to go in a different direction in the future. We understood this, plus we felt it would be an exciting next step for us, too. This gives us an opportunity to get back to our entrepreneurial roots and run the group with the team closest to the business.”

“For us, it feels really special to be able to transfer our shares in Real Agency Group to those who know the business best,” stated Jonas von Hedenberg, Investment Director at Bonnier Ventures and Real Agency Group’s former Chairman of the Board. “Working with RAG has been a great journey in every way: it’s been profitable and it’s been fun. However, as a pure consulting business, it has become something of an oddity in our portfolio. Although it’s the right time for us to divest, we have worked closely with management for many years and really wanted to find the right “fit” going forward. For this reason, we’re delighted that the ownership of the group is returning to its founders and management – and we’re confident that they have an exciting future ahead.”

The new owners’ ambition is to create the Nordic region’s most attractive employee-owned agency network for both clients and employees.

“An employee-owned agency network has many benefits for both customers and employees. In our experience, people feel more of a sense of ownership and it becomes even more meaningful to work together,” added Anders Ribba.

Jonas von Hedenberg said: “Once again, the team from GCA Altium has shown their professionalism by supporting us in the divestment of the Real Agency Group. They have shown true understanding of the space and how to find a win-win solution  ̶  a stellar performance.”

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