US buyer acquires Fitch for 26m

US marketing services company Lighthouse has acquired Fitch, the quoted global product, corporate identity and retail specialist, for 26m.

The deal was brokered by independent investment bank Granville Markets and announced to the stock exchange yesterday (Tuesday).

Nick Harvey, Granville Markets chairman of investment banking, says: “Nothing at Fitch will change, except that Lighthouse chief executive Terry Graunke will join the Fitch board. There will be no redundancies.”

Fitch chairman and chief executive Martin Beck says: “We were finding it frustrating trying to grow as we were, but now we can realise our plans to grow into a truly global company.”

Lighthouse UK director Mark Scott confirms the new parent will invest heavily in Fitch, but declines to give figures.

Lighthouse was set up six months ago as a holding company for non-advertising marketing services and has just opened a UK office.

Fitch has 500 staff and its clients include BT, Sainsbury’s, Debenhams, Tag McLaren and De La Rue. It has offices in London, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Boston, Paris, Singapore, Osaka, San Francisco.

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