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Nick Tippett of PKF Francis Clark

Nick Tippett of PKF Francis Clark describes seeing through the sale of digital marketing agency Microserve to Investis Digital during COVID-19. He describes how he was introduced to the deal, the timescales and the challenges faced.

In September 2020, Microserve, a Bristol-based digital marketing agency, was sold (for an undisclosed sum) to Investis Digital, a London-based global digital communications company. Microserve is one of the UK’s largest accredited developers of the Drupal web content management framework. Microserve is comparatively small in turnover terms, with just over 20 employees. But for Investis, there is tremendous opportunity to offer services to existing clients, as well as tap into new clients. Investis has offices in New York, Frankfurt, Dublin, Helsinki and India.

In 2019, I ran a workshop at the annual Bristol Technology Festival. Matt Sharp, the founder shareholder of Microserve, attended the event on managing tech businesses through their funding and tax life cycle. After, I spent time getting to know the business and understanding shareholders’ objectives. In early 2020, Microserve was approached by Investis, which had a track record of making acquisitions to bolt on. We were in a great place to support the founder and management shareholders in the sale.