Definition Acquires TopLine

 

Jun 1, 2021 | News

DEAL MARKS THIRD ACQUISITION IN SEVEN MONTHS, ADDING ORGANIC SEARCH, INBOUND MARKETING & VIDEO PRODUCTION TO RAPIDLY EXPANDING COMMUNICATIONS GROUP

 

Leeds and London based Definition, the multi-award winning strategic communications group, has today announced its acquisition of leading B2B growth agency TopLine Comms, including TopLine Film, ranked by clients as the UK’s top independent video production company in 2020*.

The deal sees Definition add SEO and inbound marketing along with video and animation content production to the Group’s InsideOut Communications™ delivery model for major brands, business leaders, member organisations and Government.  These additional capabilities boost the Group’s ability to deliver lead generation and content marketing alongside strategic brand creation, reputation management, social media and employee engagement services.

TopLine is Definition’s third acquisition in seven months following its purchase of London creative brand agency Redhouse and Leeds-based W&P – one of the country’s leading employee engagement agencies.

The Group’s expanding expertise in B2B communications has been reflected in a number of recent accolades from PR Week and has resulted in a series of prestigious client wins since the start of the year.

PR Week listed Definition as a Top 10 specialist B2B agency, selected it as one of the twelve agencies to watch in 2021, showed it rising 45 places in its rankings of Top 150 UK agencies by revenue and included Managing Director Louise Vaughan in its 2021 UK Power Book, the definitive annual guide to the country’s elite communications professionals.

New clients include Cielo (the world’s leading recruitment outsourcing partner), Halfords, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, cyber security firm Reliance ACSN and the Security Industry Association.

Founded in London by CEO Heather Baker in 2008, TopLine is one of the UK’s leading B2B digital PR and SEO agencies, with specific specialisms in fintech, tech, engineering and education. With campaigns spanning the UK, Europe, the US and Africa, global clients include ABB, Access Self Storage, Bullhorn, Impero, Outokumpu and Xero. The agency has won a raft of industry awards and been ranked in the Top 10 Great UK Places to Work (Small Companies Category) for the last two years.

The acquisition will see Heather Baker join the Definition Group board, as Group Marketing Director, with the TopLine Comms team joining Definition under the leadership of Louise Vaughan. Jamie Field will continue as Managing Director of TopLine Film, driving the growth of its film, video and animation production and delivery services to a diverse range of clients.

The enlarged, £5 million turnover group has a combined 80 years of experience working for global brands, charities and Government and boasts a tally of over 400 UK and international awards. Definition is currently short listed as B2B Agency of the Year in the PR Moment Awards after winning the category in 2020 and W&P scooped five class wins in 2020 in the IoIC National Awards and Central and North Awards.

Nigel Howes, Chairman of Definition said: “The TopLine acquisition is an important next step in our ongoing growth strategy. It brings together two of the UK’s foremost B2B agencies – both leaders in their specific fields of reputation management and search-centric PR – to form the ultimate B2B growth agency and position it as one of the top 3 in the UK**.

“The acquisition also broadens and deepens our sector and service coverage – adding fintech and engineering specialisms to our existing expertise in business and professional services, technology, education, transportation, health & wellness, financial services and the public sector.”

Heather Baker, CEO of TopLine said: “Of all the agencies we’ve talked to, Definition stood out because its ambition, culture and values closely matched our own. It also had a clear and well-articulated growth strategy that offers excellent prospects for our business and our team. We’re incredibly excited about the opportunities to offer an expanded range of services to our clients and for working together with the other group agencies to deliver accelerated growth.”

Funding for the acquisition, as part of its ongoing support for Definition’s growth strategy, was provided by ThinCats (Ben Kimball). Corporate finance and debt advisory services were provided to Definition by Andy Miller at Sentio Partners and corporate finance services were provided to TopLine by Mark Madsen at Madsen Advisory. Legal advice on the transaction was provided to Definition by Dahren Naidoo at Freeths, to TopLine by James Hardy at Acuity Law and to ThinCats by Ben Slack at Clarion.

* Ranking according to Clutch’s listing of UK video production companies 2020
** Based on revenue reported in the 2021 PR Week B2B Agency Rankings