At HMT, we have advised hundreds of entrepreneurs on how to realise their business ambitions over the past 25 years. Having completed over 500 deals, producing a shortlist of 10 has not been easy, but the management buyout of Sportsworld Group and association with Chad Lion-Cachet is certainly on the list.
Sportsworld is a leading UK corporate hospitality, events management and sponsor services provider, creating, delivering and managing world-class events for over 35 years.
Lion-Cachet joined Sportsworld as managing director in October 2003 after several years working in New York and the City in a variety of senior management roles and led the sports, media and entertainment division of global professional services firm Marsh & McLennan.
In 2004, Lion-Cachet initiated the opportunity to lead an MBO of Sportsworld. He was introduced to HMT and he was impressed by the firm’s credentials and deal activity in the event and sports hospitality sector. He appointed HMT to full buy-side advisory services to acquire the business. HMT advised Lion-Cachet on the deal structure as well as identifying both debt and equity funding options. In December 2004, he acquired the full share capital of Sportsworld.
Following further acquisitions supported by HMT and after years of successful growth, Lion-Cachet saw the opportunity to sell the business and called on HMT to assist him in the disposal process. HMT supported Lion-Cachet throughout the entire sale process and in April 2008, TUI Travel plc acquired Sportsworld, providing investors with a good return on investment.
Lion-Cachet stayed at Sportsworld as chief executive until after the London Olympics in 2012 when the company posted a record turnover in excess of £30 million. He was then promoted to chief executive of the Events International Group, TUI’s event division that at its peak had a portfolio of 14 businesses.
Lion-Cachet left TUI in December 2016 to establish an integrated event services group and once again turned to HMT for support. With his strong experience of the events industry, Lion-Cachet identified the right platform business on which to implement his buy-and-build strategy and HMT advised Lion-Cachet on his management buyin of leading event and creative agency Smyle Creative in April 2018. HMT identified private equity firm Rockpool Investments as the right funding partner to support the acquisition and Lion-Cachet was appointed executive chairman. Its ambition is to take advantage of increasing growth in the ‘experience economy’ and in addition to developing organic growth, build the service proposition and scale of the business through complimentary acquisitions.