Leeds-based communications group Definition acquires TopLine Comms

A Yorkshire communications group has secured its third acquisition in seven months as part of a strategy to become a major national player.

(Left to right) Definition chairman Nigel Howes with Louise Vaughan and Heather Baker

Leeds and London-based Definition has announced its acquisition of the agency TopLine Comms, including TopLine Film.

Founded in London by CEO Heather Baker in 2008, TopLine is one of the UK’s largest business to business digital PR agencies, with specific specialisms in fintech, tech, engineering and education.

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The acquisition will see Heather Baker join the Definition group board, as group marketing director, with the TopLine Comms team joining Definition under the leadership of Louise Vaughan. Jamie Field will continue as managing director of TopLine Film.

In a statement, Definition said: "The enlarged, £5 million turnover group has a combined 80 years of experience working for global brands, charities and Government and boasts a tally of over 400 UK and international awards."

"TopLine is Definition’s third acquisition in seven months following its purchase of London creative brand agency Redhouse and Leeds-based W&P – one of the country’s leading employee engagement agencies."

Nigel Howes, chairman of Definition said: “The TopLine acquisition is an important next step in our ongoing growth strategy. It brings together two of the UK’s foremost B2B agencies - both leaders in their specific fields of reputation management and search-centric PR - to form the ultimate B2B growth agency and position it as one of the top three in the UK.

“The acquisition also broadens and deepens our sector and service coverage – adding fintech and engineering specialisms to our existing expertise in business and professional services, technology, education, transportation, health and wellness, financial services and the public sector.”

Heather Baker, CEO of TopLine, said: “Of all the agencies we’ve talked to, Definition stood out because its ambition, culture and values closely matched our own. It also had a clear and well-articulated growth strategy that offers excellent prospects for our business and our team.

"We’re incredibly excited about the opportunities to offer an expanded range of services to our clients and for working together with the other group agencies to deliver accelerated growth.”

Funding for the acquisition, as part of its ongoing support for Definition’s growth strategy, was provided by ThinCats (Ben Kimball).

Corporate finance and debt advisory services were provided to Definition by Andy Miller at Sentio Partners and corporate finance services were provided to TopLine by Mark Madsen at Madsen Advisory.

Legal advice on the transaction was provided to Definition by Dahren Naidoo at Freeths, to TopLine by James Hardy at Acuity Law and to ThinCats by Ben Slack at Clarion