Mills & Reeve advises on Life acquisition

National law firm Mills & Reeve has advised on the acquisition of Birmingham marketing consultancy Life by Communisis plc.

Mills & Reeve’s corporate team in Birmingham, led by partner Peter McLintock and supported by senior associate Ryan Hawley, advised the principal vendors, David Poole and Ian Humphris, co-founders and managing directors of Life, on the sale to Communisis.

Communisis acquired Life for £23 million, split between an up front consideration with an earn out based on performance over the next three years.

As part of the deal, David and Ian will join Communisis in senior executive roles.

Life, which is based in the Jewellery Quarter and also has an office in London, specialises in research and insight-led shopper marketing for companies in the food, drinks, technology and pharmaceutical sectors. Clients include Danone, GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyds Pharmacy, Nestle, Nivea and Purina.

Founded in 2007, today the agency employs 63 people.

Communisis is a leading provider of customer communications for major consumer brands, offering services in creative, web production, social network marketing, data intelligence, transactional digital printing and digital asset management.

Established more than 200 years ago, Communisis today employs around 2,300 people across its offices in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The acquisition of Life will allow Communisis to extend the range of services offered to its growing number of consumer goods clients.

Peter McLintock said: “It is incredibly tricky but massively rewarding to help successfully take a company that had been founded by the principal shareholders from scratch and deliver a deal that is, on one hand, hugely personal for the sellers but equally strategic for the buyer, especially as it is the largest acquisition the Plc has made to date and where both parties with work together in the merged business.

“Add to that a tight timescale, the need for utmost confidentiality and a Christmas holiday for good measure and it makes for a memorable transaction.”