LONDON — Corporate communications and public affairs agency PLMR has made the first in a series of planned acquisitions to grow its regional UK network and boost its digital and social expertise, buying Advent Communications in a deal that brings the combined firm’s turnover to more than £7 million.

Advent was set up in Coventry in 1998 by former journalist Adam Dent (pictured, second right), who will be staying on at the firm – which will keep its name for the time being as part of PLMR Midlands – as a senior consultant and advisor. The rest of the 12-strong team, including director Lee Corden (pictured, left), who has been with the firm for nearly 21 years, will also remain with Advent, bringing PLMR’s total headcount to more than 70 across the UK.

Dent said: “This is a really progressive move for Advent, our team and our clients. It is great that we are joining such a highly-regarded national group which will allow us to add to our services and help grow our client base. We have worked with PLMR and it is a very natural fit for both companies.”

PLMR has been based in the Midlands since 2017; its office in Birmingham is part of a regional network that also covers London, the East of England and Scotland. Chief executive Kevin Craig (pictured, second left) told PRovoke Media: “Advent brings a strong Midlands pedigree to the table, gives us deeper skills right across the board and most crucially of all will enable us to serve all of our clients even better. There’s also a big overlap with clients in education, property and other sectors where we have strengths too."

He added: “Investing in our regional network is a big priority area for us – we see the whole levelling-up agenda and increasing dynamism of businesses outside London as a huge opportunity. There are great opportunities to serve organisations who want to operate outside London and the South East and also to work with companies and others based in the regions who want even better access to national public affairs and digital and social comms services.”

And Craig said further acquisitions were planned: “Our ambition is to grow whilst focusing on the quality of the service we provide to clients and the opportunities we provide to PLMR’s growing team. We are also keen to deepen PLMR’s existing expertise in digital and social, and we will be announcing more acquisitions shortly.”

PLMR already works with many organisations in the Midlands including the University of Warwick, West Midlands Combined Authority and Coventry City Council, as well as a national client base that includes Gumtree, HC-One – one of the UK’s biggest care providers – Bristol University and Star Academies, one of the UK’s biggest school groups. Advent’s clients include Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, UK City of Culture, Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, construction firm Deeley Group and Wasps Group, which includes Wasps Rugby, on its client roster.

Will Savage (pictured, right), who will head PLMR’s expanded Midlands team, added: “Over the years we have worked closely with Advent on a number of projects so coming together is both a natural progression for us and will be transformative in the way we serve our clients in the region.”