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Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson strikes merger deal to create advertising and communications ‘tremendous agency’

Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson strikes merger deal to create advertising and communications ‘tremendous agency’

Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson strikes merger deal to create advertising and communications ‘tremendous agency’

Financier and Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson at her downtown Toronto workplace in 2009.Sheryl Nadler/The Globe and Mail

Veteran financier and Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson is merging her advertising and communications agency with 5 different businesses to launch a bigger firm with a world attain, backed partially by the Canadian Enterprise Development Fund.

The brand new firm, known as Believeco:Companions, can have practically 300 staff in seven workplaces throughout North America, serving shoppers in a wide range of sectors together with know-how, meals, well being, agriculture, authorities and monetary companies. It’s combining Ms. Dickinson’s company Enterprise Play with main Canadian advertising companies Argyle, Brightworks, Zync, Revolve and Castlemain.

Three manufacturers will emerge out of the amalgamation association, which is designed to protect the independence of the six companies whereas scaling up their enterprise beneath the identical banner. Vital employees reductions should not anticipated, the businesses mentioned. Believeco:Companions can be headquartered in Calgary.

Ms. Dickinson mentioned in an interview that she first conceived the concept for a “tremendous agency” reminiscent of Believeco about two years in the past. She described it as a option to fill a void within the communications and advertising area in Canada, which she believes lacked a definite voice to serve all elements of the economic system and diversified shoppers with totally different enterprise traces.

“The best way that we’re doing that is fairly distinctive. We’re nonetheless holding the founders of those companies on the wheel, with pores and skin within the sport, dedicated to the long-term way forward for their groups and their shoppers’ enterprise success,” Ms. Dickinson informed The Globe and Mail. “It’s six companies coming collectively proper now, however we positively have plans to accumulate different impartial firms sooner or later.”

From 2020: Arlene Dickinson raises $100-million to again meals and well being startups

Toronto-based Argyle and Vancouver-based Castlemain will stay as stand-alone manufacturers, drawing on their strengths in totally different sectors. Castlemain, which has lengthy served Indigenous communities and peoples, will proceed as an advisory agency beneath Rob McPhee as president. Daniel Tisch will stay chief government officer of Argyle, a longtime identify within the tech, monetary companies and authorities sectors.

However Calgary-based Enterprise Play, Halifax-based Revolve and Toronto firms Zync and Brightworks will all be mixed to create a single new model: Believeco. It’s going to focus significantly on the well being, wellness and meals and beverage sectors.

Brightworks founder Neil Follett has been appointed as CEO of Believeco. Mr. Follett and Mr. Tisch have additionally been appointed as managing companions of Believeco:Companions, whereas Ms. Dickinson will act as government chair of the brand new mother or father firm for the three manufacturers.

George Rossolatos, CEO of the Canadian Enterprise Development Fund, a non-public fairness agency primarily based in Toronto, mentioned his crew is a minority investor and can sit on the board for Believeco:Companions. “We’ll depart the operations to the administration crew, however we’re concerned within the high-level technique, occupied with the place to develop and how you can garner different acquisitions successfully,” he mentioned.

Mr. Rossolatos acknowledged that present pressures reminiscent of rising inflation, excessive rates of interest, a slower economic system and a stronger greenback might have an effect on Believeco’s clientele, presumably making its companies a more durable promote to a broader vary of firms. “We’re in uneven waters, there’s plenty of volatility on the market and this adjustment interval is affecting everybody,” he mentioned.

“However we’re not right here for the quick time period. This can be a longer-term play for us and everybody else on board.”

“In a bizarre means, this downturn is definitely good for us. Companies have a tendency to want extra communications and advertising companies throughout a recessionary interval – whether or not that’s disaster work, speaking about layoffs or what have you ever, we converse their language for them,” Ms. Dickinson mentioned.

“There’s all the time going to be ups and downs, now we’re collectively to confront them. And simply with the big roster of shoppers that we’ve got already, we’ve shortly grow to be a large power to be reckoned with.”

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