Admission to Trading on AIM and First Day of Dealings
15 December 2021
LBG Media plc (AIM: LBG), the UK-based multi-brand, multi-channel digital youth publisher, is pleased to announce that the admission of its entire issued and to be issued share capital to trading on the Alternative Investment Market (‘AIM’) of the London Stock Exchange will become effective and dealings will commence at 8.00 a.m. GMT today under the ticker LBG and ISIN number GB00BKPH9R58.
The successful fundraising included the placing of 17,142,857 new shares (‘Ordinary Shares’) and the placing of 46,323,368 existing shares, both at a price of 175p per share (the ‘Placing Price’), raising gross proceeds of £30.0 million for the Company and £81.1 million for selling shareholders. At the Placing Price the Company’s market capitalisation will be approximately £360 million. Immediately following Admission, there will be 205,714,286 Ordinary Shares in issue.
Zeus Capital acted as Nominated Advisor and Sole Broker on the Placing and IPO.
Solly Solomou and Arian Kalantari, Co-founders of LBG Media, commented:
“Today is an important day for everyone at LBG Media and we’d like to thank our incredibly hard-working and talented team for helping us achieve this milestone. Back when we founded the Company in 2012 we were looking for a way to engage with young people just like us and we are incredibly proud that what we created back then now has over 262 million social media followers worldwide.
“We remain committed to creating exciting, engaging and socially responsible content that gives the youth generation a voice and appropriately represents their interests.
’’The reception we have received from investors has been very positive and we are excited to be embarking on the next of phase of our growth story with the listing on AIM providing us with the platform to continue to grow well into the future.”
For further information:
|LBG Media plc
Solly Solomou, Co-founder & CEO
Arian Kalantari, Co-founder & COO
Tim Croston, CFO
|Zeus Capital Limited
(Nominated Adviser, Sole Bookrunner & Sole Broker)
Dan Bate (Corporate Finance)
Nick Cowles (Corporate Finance)
Benjamin Robertson (Equity Capital Markets)
|Tel: +44 (0) 161 831 1512
Richard Oldworth / Chris Lane / Toto Berger / Jack Devoy
|Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
About LBG Media
Any capitalised terms in the Company’s AIM admission document (‘Admission Document’) shall bear the same meaning in this announcement unless otherwise defined.
Key strengths and advantages of LBG Media
LBG Media, founded in 2012, has established itself as one of the world’s leading digital media and youth content publishers, utilising both in-house content and content from third parties to generate interactions with its global audience of over one billion per annum.
The Directors believe that LBG Media has a number of key strengths and advantages that are important to the success of the business:
- One of the largest youth publishers in the world accessing a coveted, but hard-to reach demographic
The Group reaches almost two thirds of 18 to 34 year-olds in the UK alone through a portfolio of ten core own brands, and has more than 262 million social media followers throughout the world
- Multi-brand, multi-channel digital publisher with market leading levels of engagement
28 billion content views in 2020 with an engaged audience provide an international community on which new content can be readily distributed and monetised
- Millions of daily audience interactions generate measurable and rich data to provide valuable insights to brand owners
Growing portfolio of long-term global brand and agency partnerships across a wide range of verticals, including, who are attracted not only to the Group’s scale and engagement, but its ability to feedback robust insights designed around their individual marketing objectives. Clients include Unilever, Disney, Netflix, KFC and the British Armed Forces, with partnerships with media agencies including, amongst others, WPP, Group M, Omnicom, Publicis and Dentsu Aeguis.
- Symbiotic partnerships established between LBG Media and leading global social media platforms
Platforms recognise the value of the Group’s engaging content to drive increased dwell time attracting branded marketing spend on which to share in the upside, while LBG Media is provided access to a global stage on which to distribute its content and build its audience
- Positioned in sweet spot of marketing: digital advertising sector aided by significant tailwinds and structural growth drivers
LBG Media operates across some of the fastest growing sectors within the £346 billion global digital advertising market. Favourable industry dynamics include the growth of mobile display, video and native advertising, as well as the roll out of 5G connectivity
- In-house production capabilities deliver fast and relevant content at low-cost
Ability to rapidly react to emerging social trends, with the experience and infrastructure to identify, produce, edit and distribute content within a matter of hours, significantly faster than traditional media publishers
- Strong financial track record with diversified revenue streams, delivering robust sustainable margins and high cash conversion
From FY18 to FY20 the Group achieved revenue growth of c.48 per cent., averaging a three year operating cashflow conversion of c.83 per cent. across the same period. The continued growth in revenues has helped the Group grow Adjusted EBITDA margins to c.31 per cent. in HY21. Revenue increased 133% in the six months ended 30 June 2021 to £23.006m (2020: £9.872m) while Adjusted EBITDA increased to £7.196m, representing an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 31.2%
- Proven track record of M&A
The management team has experience in delivering value-accretive acquisitions and successful integrations, including the acquisition of its closest UK competitor, UNILAD, in 2018
- Multi award-winning media brand and content creator
Recognised for producing innovative and positive content, tackling important social topics, the Group has been awarded prestigious accolades that include Media Brand of the Year 2021, as well as several individual awards for its innovative branded content campaigns
- Organic growth strategy focussed on expanding capabilities and growing within existing geographies, supplemented by future M&A opportunities
Leveraging its existing global, social, and digital platforms to grow its loyal communities, the Group hopes to further expand its presence in core markets to help build scale
- Strong social responsibility and commitment to improving awareness of wider social issues
The Group regularly produces engaging campaigns to promote equality, diversity, sustainability and inclusion across its community of followers
- A proven and experienced founder-led management team
Led by co-founders Alexander (“Solly”) Solomou (CEO) and Arian Kalantari (COO), the Group has invested in a highly experienced Board and wider senior team to assist it in achieving its ambitious long-term growth objectives
INTRODUCTION TO LBG MEDIA
LBG Media is a multi-brand, multi-channel digital youth publisher and is a leading disrupter in the digital media and social publishing sectors. The Group produces and distributes digital content across a range of mediums including video, editorial, image, audio, and experience (virtual and augmented reality). Since its inception in 2012, the Group has curated a diverse collection of ten core specialist brands using social media platforms (primarily Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok) and has built multiple websites to reach new audiences and drive engagement. Each brand is dedicated to a distinct popular interest point (e.g. sport, gaming etc.), which is designed to achieve broader engagement, increase relevance and ultimately build a loyal community of followers.
Through internally created content and content provided by third parties, including that of its audience, the Group generated 28 billion views in 2020. The Directors believe the Group’s ability to efficiently evaluate and analyse data insights and trends means it has built a deep understanding of how to effectively relate to audiences and their emotions. The accumulated data from daily audience interactions provides invaluable insight that can be shared with brand owners to assist in maximising engagement, reach and designing effective marketing solutions for the hard-to-reach youth audience.
The Group principally operates from its London and Manchester offices in the United Kingdom, with smaller operations in select geographies including Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. Digital distribution and social media are not confined by geographical borders, enabling a global, highly scalable platform for growth, allowing the Group to amass critical scale, de-risking future expansion opportunities.
Digital advertising, specifically spend via social media, has seen a marked acceleration over the last decade, corresponding with the decline of traditional media (e.g. newspapers, tabloids and television advertising). Born out of the rise in social media, specifically Facebook as one of the early social networks, LBG Media has inherently developed the agility and flexibility required to operate within the fast-moving digital environment, compared to the more traditional media outlets who require wholesale transformation to evolve with the digital age. Enabled by technology, the Group seeks to remain at the forefront of marketing by developing new, low-cost methods to interact with its audience. The market for social video advertising is forecast to grow by c.18 per cent. per annum over the coming years owing to favourable market dynamics such as the rollout of 5G. The increasingly digitally-enabled global population is expected to see a prioritisation of marketing spend to online methods and mediums.
LBG Media has grown significantly since its inception, which has been reflected in its financial performance to date. Having generated £15.3 million revenue in the year to December 2017, the Group recently recorded £23.0 million revenue in the six months ended 30 June 2021 alone. Despite being initially impacted by COVID-19 in FY20, as brand owners significantly scaled back marketing spend amid unprecedented uncertainty and cash conservation measures, the Group maintained strong margins over the full year and generated c.£5.3 million Adjusted EBITDA. Growth accelerated in the first six months of 2021 with a c.130 per cent. increase in revenue from HY20 to HY21, achieving Adjusted EBITDA margins of c.31 per cent. in HY21. The Directors believe that continued investment throughout FY20 has positioned the business to continue its strong growth into future periods and deliver sustainable margins.
As a youth publisher with significant reach and engagement, LBG Media is committed to social responsibility. The Group is focussed on providing a voice and platform to promote equality and social awareness. Through its innovative in-house production capabilities and the ability to leverage the influence of its celebrity partners, the Group won a Cannes Lions award for its campaign to promote awareness of ocean plastic waste. Additionally, in October, the Group won ‘Media Brand of the Year’ at the Media Week Awards 2021.
The Directors believe that admission to AIM will provide access to a source of long-term capital to strengthen the balance sheet and support the Group’s continued organic growth strategy, while also enabling the Group to explore potential acquisition opportunities. Admission to AIM is expected to enable more effective incentivisation of management and employees via participation in long-term incentive plans. The Vendor Placing will also provide a partial cash realisation for existing Shareholders.
The Placing resulted in the issue of 17,142,857 New Shares, raising approximately £30.0 million, which will be used to capitalise the balance sheet and provide the funds to facilitate future strategic initiatives, which may include acquisitions or entry into new international jurisdictions.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
The Group was co-founded in 2012 by Alexander (“Solly”) Solomou, the Chief Executive Officer, and Arian Kalantari, the Chief Operating Officer, whilst studying at university. The concept behind LBG Media was formed after the founders identified an opportunity that Facebook, a then relatively new social media platform, could provide a low cost route to market to distribute content and engage with a hard-to-reach youth audience.
The rise of social media and the progressive increases in accessibility (e.g. greater smart phone adoption, specifically the growth in popularity of the Apple iPhone) marked the start of a fundamental shift away from traditional media and towards digital and mobile formats. LBG Media was founded with the purpose of being a digital only media and content creator without the legacy ‘traditional media’ systems.
The Group’s first social media page, in 2012, was one of the first third-party media outlets to publish open and publicly viewable content on Facebook, with previous interactions on the platform being predominantly amongst closed social groups. LBG Media also launched its first website (www.ladbible.com) in 2012. Today, the Group has over 262 million social media followers worldwide (including in markets it is not actively targeting), operates six websites and several social media pages across multiple platforms. The websites are:
- LADbible Group (www.ladbiblegroup.com) – Group information, service offering, and case studies
- LADbible (www.ladbible.com) – News site and viral content
- UNILAD (www.UNILAD.co.uk) – Youth platform for breaking news and relatable viral content. This includes separate sections covering technology, adventure, and sound
- GAMINGbible (www.gamingbible.co.uk) – Gaming website covering the latest releases, news, emerging trends, opinions, and hardware
- SPORTbible (www.sportbible.com) – Sports news website
- Tyla (www.tyla.com) – Female targeted news
By 2015, the growth of digital media meant marketing spend on it had overtaken that of the traditional media. LBG Media capitalised on this having very effectively positioned itself within the social media niche to build first mover advantage, leveraging increasing digital budgets. By this stage, social media platforms had recognised the value of content creators like LBG Media. To increase engagement and dwell time, they partnered with the Group to encourage content through means of revenue share models on adverts displayed on LBG Media’s content. By 2015, the Group had aggregated 12 billion content views and had developed a loyal following of c.34 million across its platforms and websites.
In 2016, LBG Media launched its in-house branded content arm, Joyride. Joyride was established to create a means of interacting directly with brands and their marketing agencies, rather than indirectly through social media platforms. The Directors recognised the value of the data insights from its cumulative interactions with its active youth audience. These interactions provide the Group with a powerful means from which to analyse and interpret customer sentiment, in order to design bespoke content solutions on behalf of brand owners and agencies. LBG Media invested significantly in its branded content solutions team over the subsequent years, appointing Colin Gottlieb, formerly CEO of Omnicom Media Group for the EMEA region and co-founder of the leading UK media agency, Manning Gottlieb OMD, as Chief Growth Officer to strengthen the Group’s commercial offering.
In 2018, the Group was presented with the opportunity to purchase the trade and assets of its closest UK competitor, UNILAD, out of administration. Like LBG Media, UNILAD produced and distributed digital content on social media through a range of different mediums. The acquisition further enhanced the Group’s reach, increasing the total social media following by over 60 million and growing the Group’s social media following across the world, particularly in the United States. The acquisition also brought with it several new, high profile clients, including the Army and KFC, with which the Group remains actively engaged today.
Following the acquisition of UNILAD, the Group expanded internationally, incorporating LADbible Australia in December 2018, LADbible Ireland in July 2019, and LADbible New Zealand in March 2021. Expansion into these territories was enabled by the Group’s pre-existing digital presence and social media following. The primary purpose of the Group’s physical presence in these territories is to enable the cultivation of relationships with brand owners and agencies and to gain a deeper knowledge of local market dynamics, with the aim of growing the Group’s bespoke marketing offering.
In 2020, the Group strengthened its executive Board with the appointment of Tim Croston as Chief Financial Officer to assist the Company in its preparation for Admission. Tim has over 30 years’ experience in finance across both the UK and US and was formerly the CFO and Head of Investor Relations of AIM-quoted Nichols Plc for a period of 10 years.
As a leading ‘fast media’ digital publisher and distributer of online content, LBG Media both creates and distributes content through a range of mediums to drive interactions with its audience. LBG Media has significant reach amongst the harder-to-reach younger generations (the “Millennials” and “Generation Z”), who brand owners seek to reach and influence. Almost two thirds of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the UK currently view the Group’s digital content. The captive younger audience, combined with the global 28 billion content views achieved in 2020, have positioned LBG Media as a key route for brand owners and marketing agencies to interact with the end-consumer.
Routes to market
The Group provides its customers (brand owners and agencies) with several ways to access its global audience. These can be simplified into two core routes to market: ‘Direct Revenue’ and ‘Indirect Revenue’. Additional non-core revenue is recognised within ‘Other’.
- Direct Revenue: where revenue is generated from the provision of content marketing services to corporates, brand owners, marketing agencies, and other entities such as government bodies. The relationship with the client is held directly
by LBG Media. The Group’s in-house 170+ strong creative team designs and produces bespoke branded content and commercial marketing solutions, with the resulting marketing campaigns then distributed across the Group’s social media and
website platforms. The Group collects real time feedback and data insights for its partners.
Direct Revenue can also include some revenue from direct display advertising, where brand owners’ pre-existing content (not created by LBG Media) can be displayed across the Group’s websites, for an agreed fee.
- Indirect Revenue: where revenue is generated via a third-party, such as a social media platform (e.g. Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube) through social videos or via a programmatic advertising exchange / online marketplace, which holds
the relationship with the brand owner or agency.
The revenue generated from social media platforms is derived from brand owners spending directly with platforms such as Facebook, which then provide advertising space for content. The creative content, such as videos uploaded by LBG Media to the social platforms, provides the necessary advertising space and digital impressions (i.e. views) to promote the brand owner’s adverts. Social media platforms encourage brand safe engaging content from trusted publishers, like LBG Media, to increase user dwell time, and the Group’s typical 55/45 (in the Group’s favour) revenue share with the platforms reflects its ability to achieve this.
- Other: non-core revenue to the Group. This includes ad hoc licensing arrangements for third-party websites to use the content owned by the Group, programming and consultation work.
By providing two core routes to market, the Group’s objective is to connect brand owners and other partners with its hard-to-reach audience in the most effective way. LBG Media provides services across the various stages of the marketing value chain: from designing the strategy directly with the brand owners; to producing digital content via its in-house production team; and distributing content through its channels (e.g. social media, websites). The billions of interactions the Group continuously generates from its digital content enables it to accurately assess, measure, and conduct real-time analysis as to the effectiveness of content, fuelling a bank of knowledge as to what makes content effective.
These valuable data insights can then be fed back to brand owners to support the creative design of future marketing campaigns. The data can also be used by LBG Media to produce and distribute content that it can be confident will generate interest with its audience.
OWN BRAND PORTFOLIO
Since incorporation, the Group has curated ten core specialist brands, with the aim of building a diverse community by providing relevant, entertaining, and engaging content specific to popular topics of interest. LBG Media’s portfolio of own brands includes interests such as sports, gaming, music, technology, and travel. Through segregation of brands and the content delivered through each, the Group can achieve broader engagement within the global population and importantly deliver more relevant content to users, increasing brand loyalty. The diversification of LBG Media’s portfolio brands also enables the Group to provide brand owners, such as sports clothing providers or gaming companies, with specific channels from which to most effectively advertise to their target audience (e.g. through SPORTbible and UNILAD).
The acquisition of UNILAD enabled the Group to expand its brand portfolio with the addition of four established brands, bringing with it a total follower base of over 60 million. The acquired brands addressed specific sector niches that LBG Media did not previously serve, including travel, music and technology (UNILAD, UNILAD tech, UNILAD sound, and UNILAD adventure). It also provided the Group with access to a large audience of followers in the United States.
LBG Media has a proven track record of delivering strong organic growth, as well as growth through the acquisition and successful integration of UNILAD in 2018. The Group remains ambitious and wants to grow and enhance its position in the marketplace, leveraging its credibility as a listed company. By leveraging its existing global, social, and digital platforms to grow its loyal communities, the Group hopes to further expand its presence in core markets to help build scale. The Directors strategy for growth can be summarised into the below three core pillars.
The Group currently has a physical presence across four territories: the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Entry to these territories was underpinned by the audiences and engagement with them. By continuing to create and publish relevant digital content, the Directors expect to further grow these communities and build brand awareness levels within them. The majority of the Group’s revenue is generated in the UK (FY20: 94 per cent.).
Operating in the digital media space, international audiences are readily accessible. The Directors have identified the United States, one of the largest digitally social markets in the world, as a key growth market. LBG Media has already built a substantial global community of social media followers in the United States alone, despite being strategically focused on the UK market thus far. The Directors believe that active audiences in new geographies provide a foundation for future growth across both the Indirect and Direct revenue streams and help to de-risk geographic expansion.
- Mergers & Acquisitions (“M&A”)
The Group has proven, through its successful acquisition and integration of UNILAD, that M&A is a viable proposition to enhance future growth. The acquisition strategy will be centred around bolstering LBG Media’s existing global footprint.
Although the Group has already successfully expanded into new territories organically, the Directors believe that certain markets may be better accessed through selective acquisitions, particularly where an established digital media brand with a physical presence and understanding of the local market already exists. In these circumstances, M&A could help the Group to scale its reach and build its Direct Revenue arm significantly faster than a time-intensive organic approach.
M&A could also prove to be more efficient in acquiring new, supplementary brands when compared to building a new brand with its own distinct popular interest point from a standing start. The Directors believe M&A, in these circumstances, could provide an opportunity for the Group to deliver significant incremental growth in the brand’s reach, by promoting it via the Group’s existing global brands and communities.
The Group has been at the forefront of social media, being one of the first digital content creators to publish content on Facebook. This agile model allows the Group to actively replicate content across newly emerging social platforms, ensuring content reaches the widest possible audience.
The Directors intend to continue to expand the Group’s capabilities to produce innovative content and drive engagement. Examples of innovations to date include virtual reality, augmented reality and LADX.
Increasing audience monetisation is key to driving future growth. Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube are currently the only social media platforms which facilitate the monetisation of its users through adverts. Facebook introduced this functionality in 2018 and, as a result, LBG Media saw an increase in social video revenue from £0.9 million in FY18 to £4.2 million in FY19 (366 per cent. y-o-y growth), owing in part to the acquisition of UNILAD. During 2021, LBG Media was invited by Instagram as one of a select few digital content producers across the globe, to partake in alpha testing for the monetisation of Instagram’s users through in-video adverts. The Directors believe these capabilities will be introduced across all social media platforms as the platforms mature, providing significant upside opportunities.
The Group has primarily focussed on the LADbible brand, with the volume of new content added to its other portfolio brands, such as FOODbible, materially lower. The Directors believe that increasing focus on other brands, provides the ability to grow their audiences and increase associated revenue.
The Directors recognise the importance of being an environmentally and socially responsible business. As a leading social youth publisher, the Group is aware that is has a powerful global platform to push socially responsible agendas, represent its audience, and enable those that do not have equal opportunities to have their voices heard. The Group’s mission statement, ‘to give the youth generation a voice by building communities that laugh, think and act’, echoes this intention.
In July 2020, the Group launched its diversity and inclusion strategy. The strategy states that LBG Media is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce in an environment where everyone feels comfortable to be themselves. This accelerates the Group’s commitment to ensuring that all young people are given a voice. The Group aims to achieve this by reaching out to its audience to understand concerns, promoting wider conversations and investing in this area to ensure they can help instil lasting change.
Leveraging its global reach, LBG Media has run several social awareness campaigns to address key social issues, raise awareness within communities and governments, and educate its audience. Some selected examples are:
- Trash Isles – a major social responsibility campaign, in partnership with The Plastic Ocean Foundation, which was designed with the aim of empowering young people in lobbying the United Nations to acknowledge the rising levels
of plastic waste in the oceans. The campaign served to raise wider awareness amongst LBG Media’s audience by uncovering facts about the impact of plastic on the environmental ecosystem. LBG Media’s novel campaign involved registering
a floating mass of plastic waste, approximately the size of France (in the North Pacific Ocean) as an official country, on the premise that the wider UN members would be obliged to clean it up. The campaign involved registering leadership and
figureheads, which included several celebrity partners including Judie Dench, Al Gore, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and Sir David Attenborough.
Within the first 60 days, the campaign reached over 250 million people globally. Following the initial awareness raised, LBG Media recommended people to take action by encouraging the general public to ‘become a citizen’ and, in doing so, make a pledge to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic. Over 100 thousand people signed up to become citizens within the first week, making ‘Trash Isles’ larger than 25 UN-recognised countries by population.
The Group was awarded with two highly regarded Grand Prix awards at the 2018 Cannes Lions’ annual festival of creativity.
- U OK M8? – a campaign to drive conversation and understanding around mental health amongst young people. The objectives of the campaign were: (i) inform and change attitudes around mental health conditions; (ii) educate and simplify mental health conditions to help people to understand and empathise; and (iii) shift attitudes and remove misconceptions around specific mental health conditions.
The campaign has been delivered over a number of years, continuing into 2021, culminating in over 44 million people reached. Across each period, LBG Media has produced original content, shared real stories around mental health on its dedicated UOKM8? hub on ladbible.com and collaborated with boohooMAN on exclusive UOKM8? apparel, donating all profits to the charity MIND, which is focussed on providing support for mental health issues.
THE DIGITAL MEDIA MARKET: AN OVERVIEW
The Group operates within the wider global advertising market, which was valued at c.$578 billion in 2020. This market includes traditional print advertising (magazines, billboards etc.). Within the wider advertising market, the digital media market was valued at $346 billion in 2020 and has grown at a CAGR of 20.1 per cent. from 2012 to 2020. Although growth softened to 8.2 per cent. in 2020, against a wider 5.8 per cent. decline in the global advertising market, due to retracted advertising budgets during the impact of COVID, this represented an increase in overall market share for digital media. Accelerated digital transformation during the pandemic and growing e-commerce activity all contribute towards the trend of increased marketing spend being directed to digital channels.
The global digital media market is forecast to grow at 8.2 per cent. CAGR from 2020 to 2024. However, within this market LBG Media operates within some of the fastest growing segments, which include social video (20 per cent. CAGR, 2020 – 2023), web programmatic (11 per cent. CAGR, 2020 – 2023) and content marketing (15 per cent. CAGR, 2020 – 2024). The Directors believe that the Group is appropriately positioned to benefit from and be a key force in driving the growth in its respective markets.
Within the global market, the Group has identified four core geographies of focus, being the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and the United States, albeit no presence or cost has been committed to forming operations in the United States. The addressable market for the Group within these geographies was estimated at c.$20.5 billion in 2019, with a further $21.9 billion available in countries outside the core geographies, but available through the Group’s multi-channel global distribution.
KEY FINANCIAL INFORMATION
|Year ended 31 December 2018 Audited £000||Year ended 31 December 2019 Audited £000||Year ended 31 December 2020 Audited £000||Six months ended 30 June 2021 Unaudited £000|
|Net operating expenses||(16,533)||(25,865)||(25,784)||(17,352)|
|Shares of post-tax profits of equity accounted joint venture||-||-||45||70|
|Profit before taxation||3,632||2,123||4,113||5,592|
1 Profit before net finance costs, tax, depreciation, amortisation, loss on disposal of intangible assets and exceptional (costs)/income
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David ‘Dave’ John Wilson (59) – Non-Executive Chairman
Dave has over 28 years’ international, operational, and board level experience. He spent over 12 years at GB Group Plc, joining as the Group Finance & Operations Director in 2009. During his tenure, Dave successfully completed 14 acquisitions and two divestments and oversaw growth in the market capitalisation from £14 million to £1.8 billion. Dave currently holds the role of Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee Chair at musicMagpie Plc. Previous board positions have included roles as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of EazyFone Group, Chief Financial Officer at Codemasters and EXI Group, and Chief Operating Officer for a division within Fujutsu.
Alexander ‘Solly’ William Solomou (30) – Chief Executive Officer
Solly co-founded LBG Media in 2012. In the following nine years, Solly has led the Group and its strategic direction, while building a wealth of experience in digital advertising and content creation. Solly was awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year North award in 2016 and holds a Business Management Degree from the University of Leeds.
Arian Mahmoud Kalantari (30) – Chief Operating Officer
Arian co-founded LBG Media in 2012. Arian has almost ten years of experience within the digital advertising and content creation sector. Since founding LBG Media, Arian has been instrumental to the growth in the Group’s operations from what was a two-person operation to the current 436 person, multi-national business. Arian holds an International Business Degree from the University of Liverpool.
Timothy ‘Tim’ John Croston (58) – Chief Financial Officer
Tim has over 30 years’ finance experience which was gained by working across both the UK and US, which included ten years as Chief Financial Officer of AIM listed Nichols Plc (Vimto soft drinks) from 2010 to 2020. During that period, the market cap of the company grew from c.£110 million to over £509 million. Tim was also responsible for investor relations and oversaw five successful acquisitions. Previous roles include Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee Chair at The Riverside Group Limited from 2017 to 2020. Tim is a qualified accountant (ACCA 1992, FCCA 1998).
Carol Mary Kane (55) – Non-Executive Director
Carol co-founded Boohoo Group Plc, one of the leading fashion groups, in 2006 following the identification of the opportunity for online retail. During her time at Boohoo Group Plc, Carol has helped take the company through an AIM market listing and has grown the company to a now £1.7 billion revenue business. Through her roles at Boohoo Group Plc, Carol has extensive experience working across marketing, product and brand strategy both domestically and abroad.
Alexandra ‘Alex’ Clare Jarvis (45) – Non-Executive Director
Alex is currently the Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder at Toppan Digital Language, an innovative digital translation technology service provider. Alex’s roles at Toppan include building value through corporate development, strategic initiatives, mergers and acquisitions, finance, and governance. Alex previously worked for SDL plc, an LSE Main market company, as the Senior Vice President and Executive Board member for Strategy, M&A, IR and Corporate Marketing. Prior to joining SDL plc, Alex was a Partner at Peel Hunt LLP, a UK-based investment bank, where she was the senior equity analyst for the technology sector.
Richard Charles Flint (49) – Non-Executive Director
Richard has over 20 years’ experience in online businesses, formerly serving as Executive Chair of Sky Betting & Gaming and prior to this appointment in October 2018, Richard served as Chief Executive Officer of Sky Betting & Gaming for 10 years. During his tenure at Sky Betting & Gaming he was awarded a number of high profile awards, including the Compliance Lifetime Achievement Award at the global regulatory awards in 2020 and Glassdoor’s No. 1 CEO in 2018. Richard currently holds the role of Non-Executive Director at FTSE 100 – Flutter Entertainment Plc, is the Chairperson of Butternut Box and was a former Non-Executive Director of Welcome to Yorkshire. Richard holds a 1st class degree in Engineering, Economics and Management from Keble College, Oxford and a Master’s in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, on a Fulbright Scholarship.
The Company’s Operational Board is formed of the Executive Directors as listed above, and the below senior manager:
Colin Gottlieb (60) – Chief Growth Officer
Colin joined the Group in 2019 as a strategic Board Advisor. Colin has over 30 years’ experience at senior levels across the media and publishing industry, most recently as the CEO of Omnicom Media Group for the EMEA region. He was the also co-founder & managing partner of the UK media agency, Manning Gottlieb OMD, a company which he sold to Omnicom Media Group in 1997. During his time, Colin was accredited with building Omnicom Media Group in EMEA from a standing start, connecting over 90,000 employees across 63 countries.
The Admission Document is available on the Company's website, www.ladbiblegroup.com.