Whyte Corporate Affairs opens up equity capital to support continued growth.
Over the last 15 years, Whyte Corporate Affairs has grown to become the leading, independent communications consultancy in Belgium. To consolidate this growth, the agency’s founders decided to open up its equity capital for new shareholders. Today Whyte Corporate Affairs is proud to announce that Belgian private equity firm Finco has acquired a 49% stake in the company. Philip Naert, a much-valued team member who joined the company in 2014 and who contributed to the development of its Public Affairs division, is the first of the new generation to acquire an equity stake.
Whyte Corporate Affairs has continually grown since its inception. Originally founded by four partners (Sandrine Agie, Joris Bulteel, Eveline De Ridder, and Emmanuel Goedseels), the agency grew into a team of more than 40 consultants, with a strong management team, two offices (Brussels and Antwerp), and revenue of €6.6 m. StudioTokyo (visual storytelling) and Twyst (Brand PR & influencer relations) have since contributed to the success and growth of Whyte Corporate Affairs. Over the years, the agency has earned widespread international recognition. Most recently it was honoured as Benelux Consultancy of the Year at the Sabre Awards. However, a status quo is rarely an option for a company, which is why Whyte Corporate Affairs is already looking ahead at the next 15 years.
Joris Bulteel and Eveline De Ridder, co-founders of Whyte Corporate Affairs: “We started from scratch, positioning Whyte Corporate Affairs as a strong brand in the market in a relatively short time. Now the time has come to grow our brand. Whyte Corporate Affairs has always had the ambition to be a frontrunner. Given that we prefer to chart our own course as an independent agency rather than join an existing international venture, a private equity partner was the most logical choice. From the outset, we sensed that Finco was on the same wavelength and was interested in supporting our growth with the utmost respect for our values and company culture.”
Companies have understood that effective reputation and stakeholder management are crucial in today’s rapidly changing, complex world. Increasingly organisations require strategic communication support, including across national borders. Whyte Corporate Affairs will continue to invest in the attracting, maintaining and developing of the best talent, because Whyte-consultants work on the most stimulating assignments for the most ambitious clients. This will come with expanding and developing its services and entering new markets.
Kristof Verluyten, Managing Partner Finco: “We absolutely believe in the market that Whyte Corporate Affairs is tapping into and its future growth potential. Whyte Corporate Affairs has a rock-solid reputation and a brilliant team. The fact that the four founders have chosen to reinvest and that a new generation is already waiting in the wings has provided us with great confidence for the long-term and the sustainability of the company and industry.”
About Whyte Corporate Affairs
Whyte Corporate Affairs is an independent Belgian communications consultancy founded in 2008. Whyte specialises in corporate communications (media and influencers), crisis communication and management of sensitive issues, public affairs, internal communication and change management, as well as financial communication and information design. The agency combines these areas of expertise in a “Corporate Affairs” approach, an integrated vision of corporate communications and public affairs. It is one of the market leaders in Belgium. Its two agencies Twyst and StudioTokyo – the former focusing on public relations and brand reputation and the latter on visualisation – share the same DNA and allow Whyte Corporate Affairs to considerably expand its field of operation. The agency now has 40+ employees and offices in Brussels and Antwerp.
About Finco Private Equity
Finco is an established, independent private equity player in Belgium. For more than two decades, its experienced and agile investment team has supported profitable small and medium-sized companies to achieve the full potential of their growth ambitions. With its recently launched fund Finco Private Equity III, it invests in innovative companies with sustainable business models, inspired by entrepreneurial leadership. Finco Private Equity’s reference shareholder is the Plouvier family.