BWM founders buy company back from Enero

By By Frank Chung | 10 August 2012
BWM founders Paul Williams, Rob Belgiovane and Jamie Mackay.

BWM founding partners Rob Belgiovane, Paul Williams and Jamie Mackay have bought back Enero's 51% stake in the business for $7.5 million, returning them to 100% ownership.

Enero, previously Photon Group, purchased its stake in BWM in 2006 for a reported upfront cash payment of $7.3 million and the issue of 1.26 million Photon shares.

In a joint statement, the three partners said: "With 15 years of successful partnership and working with some of Australia's biggest brands, we couldn't resist the opportunity to back ourselves, our team and our brand one hundred percent.

"The opportunities that face the industry and clients today are perfect for the entrepreneurial, performance-based, creative culture of BWM. We are convinced that there's never been a better time for an agency focused on creating ideas that get Australians talking."

In a statement to the ASX, Enero Group chairman John Porter said: "The Board is conscious of balancing future investment in the digital landscape with appropriate capital management.

"The sale of Enero's interest in BWM gives Enero the opportunity to explore other geographic opportunities aligned with its vision and strategy over a medium-term outlook."

BWM partner Paul Williams told AdNews: "It feels fantastic, we're very excited. It's been an interesting 18 months driving new business but now it's about harnessing the full force of the management team and really getting the shoulder to the wheel."

The agency contributed 12.2%, or approximately $21.2 million, of Enero Group net revenue for the 2012 financial year. In the past 12 months, BWM has offset its loss of Telstra with a number of account wins – mainly through its Melbourne office – including Kmart, Leggos, John West, REA Group and Brown Brothers.

The formerly debt-laden Photon Group announced a major overhaul in April following the appointment of a new management team with Matthew Melhuish as chief executive. Rebranded Enero, the company indicated strategic ambitions to become more digitally focused.

Enero's agencies include BMF, Naked Communications, City PR and The Leading Edge.

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