Once Upon A Time in debt-raise to buy-out minority investor and facilitate buy-and-build strategy

Arrowpoint Advisory’s Debt Advisory team has advised diversified marketing services agency Once Upon A Time (OUAT), on a debt raise to facilitate the buy-out of minority private equity investor Calculus Capital and to support the company’s ‘buy-and-build’ strategy.

OUAT is a London-based marketing agency delivering a full range of marketing services from advertising, branding, media, all forms of creative, shopper and in-store marketing, and the production of physical and digital assets. Clients include high-profile brands including Disney, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Netflix, William Grant and BMG Music.

Founded in 2013, OUAT has successfully acquired and integrated seven specialist agencies and has offices in the UK and across the US following its 2019 acquisition of Ideaworks, which has locations in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

OUAT Chief Executive and Co-Founder Joe Garton, who led the transaction alongside his Co-Founders, Di Charlton and Rob Ward, and CFO, Dan Miller, commented: “When we founded Once Upon A Time, we had a mission to build a new generation of agency based on sectors people love such as sport, hospitality, gaming, music and entertainment. We have delivered on that mission over the last six years and built a multi-national, multi-disciplined creative agency.”

Dan Miller, CFO, added: “Arrowpoint Advisory's experienced Debt Advisory team supported us from the beginning and gave us confidence that we would secure optimal debt facilities to buy out Calculus and finance our buy-and-build strategy. They provided with the right advice at the right time and worked with us to identify the best option to fit our goals and help us to achieve them.”

Neil Smith, Managing Director and Head of Debt Advisory at Arrowpoint Advisory, concluded: “We are delighted to have advised OUAT on this important first external fundraise. We enjoyed working with the management team to raise a tailor-made debt package to accommodate the business' current and future needs.”

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