A majority stake in Dublin public relations agency Kyne has been sold to London-headquartered Huntsworth for at least $17.4 million (€15.6 million).
Some 85 per cent of Kyne has been sold by its founders, David and Jacqueline Kyne, together with associates in the company. The group, which also provides patient advocate services, will now sit in Huntsworth's marketing division and will continue to be led by Mr Kyne. The business operates from offices in New York, Los Angeles, Dublin and London.
In addition to the initial $17.4 million, the Kyne owners will receive a net asset adjustment after completion of the deal and deferred consideration in 2021 based on a multiple of earnings for the two years ended December 31st.
Put and call options – which will allow Huntsworth to acquire the remaining 15 per cent stake for an already agreed price – will be exercisable in April each year from 2023. The maximum the company will pay is capped at $70 million.
In 2018, the Dublin company generated revenues of $10.2 million and an operating profit of $1.3 million. It had gross assets of $3.5 million.
"Kyne brings an expanded capability in healthcare public relations and patient advocacy to the Evoke Group [a Huntsworth subsidiary] to support additional briefs from global clients," said Huntsworth chief executive Paul Taaffe.
Founded in 2009, Kyne has worked for clients including the US-based Rockefeller Foundation, and the Carter Centre, founded by former US president Jimmy Carter.
“Together with our clients, we can take on the world’s most pressing health issues, helping improve and save lives around the globe,” Mr Kyne said of the acquisition on Tuesday.