Stern and the management team retain a 55 per cent stake in the business, which provides strategy and journalism consulting services, as well as content production and media relations to its clients.
The investment from Isis will be used to expand TVC’s digital department and its virtual press office platform, known as DNA. Stern says that with turnover of just over £5m, it was time to bring in additional expertise. “We’ve had a phenomenal couple of years but we felt we needed external help," she says. "You reach a critical point when sales are at the £5m mark and that’s when it’s good to get investment in."
TVC’s strength in the digital arena helped drive the deal with Isis. “We had 11 offers on the table,” Stern says. “The digital space was the big thing for everyone because we’re not going to be getting our news from newspapers in ten years’ time.”
While blue chip companies make up the bulk of TVC’s clients, Stern is adamant smaller companies must think beyond newspapers when they’re drawing up their media plans. She explains: “Take, for example, the recent story about the missing British divers in Bali. I heard on breakfast news that they’d been found, I googled them and saw the interviews with the parents and at lunchtime, I opened the Mail and they were still missing.
"We get our news every minute now so you’ve got to be able to reach your audience and update it on the hour, every hour. You can’t rely on daily newspapers to get your information across.”
Isis was introduced to the deal by Livingstone Partners and the transaction was funded with a £5m debt package from Lloyds TSB.
Picture Aaron Escobar