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Candid expands UK footprint with acquisition of Houston PR

Houston will join the Candid Platform as part of Brand Potential, expanding the Group's full service offering across brand and reputation.

AMSTERDAM – Today, Candid announces that Houston PR ("Houston"), a UK integrated communications consultancy will join the Candid platform as part of Candid's full service brand agency, Brand Potential.

The acquisition not only expands Candid's breadth of marketing and communications solutions through its portfolio of specialist agencies, but further strengthens its fast-growing footprint in the UK market. Led by Chief Executive Kate Hoare, CFO Lenka Drablow and CCO Jonathan Bird, Houston was acquired by Hurtwood Capital in 2018. With a unwavering commitment to the power of integrated communications, recent years have seen Houston grow significantly under Hurtwood ownership, both organically and through the acquisitions of specialist agencies McOnie, Hillgate and Sixtwo, expanding its services across Capital Markets, Corporate, Consumer PR and digital services.

Houston will join the Candid platform as part of Brand Potential with Kate, Lenka and Jonathan joining as partners in Candid. Led by CEO Mary Say, Brand Potential joined the Candid platform in 2021 and has rapidly grown to expand its brand services across insight, innovation, strategy, design and reputation. With the addition of Houston the 120 person strong team will be based across London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp.

Commenting Rudiger Wanck, CEO of Candid said: "The Candid philosophy starts with a simple belief. That great agencies produce great work by combining a clear specialism with a strong individual culture. As a platform, we don't merge our disciplines together but instead focus on three pillars of dedicated specialist agencies organised around Brand, Comms and Media. Each pillar is building a centre of excellence in its own field, leveraging complementary services but avoiding the silos that come from the hyper-specialisation often seen in big networks. "With the exciting addition of Houston into Brand Potential, bringing their expertise in building impactful brand reputation, we further enhance our brand pillar and continue to meet the evolving needs of brand owners. This latest acquisition is yet another step forward against Candid's strategic commitment to scaling our services portfolio in the United Kingdom as we continue our pursuit to reduce complexity for brands and break down the silos in our industry."

Mary Say, CEO of Brand Potential Group said: "At Brand Potential we are very clear about our mission for brands. That to unlock potential, a brand needs a true blend of commercial and creative thinking. From day one, we have bridged the gap between insight, analytics, brand strategy, innovation and design. "But in the everyday real world, when both consumer and corporate brands are under ever more scrutiny, it is reputation that also really matters. How that brand is perceived, how it builds a reputation with impact, longevity, resilience and that is true to the brand. And so our relationship with the Houston team was born. We've been partnering for some time, and it's wonderful to now seal the relationship with a great team who share our mission and our values. And huge thanks to Candid who continue to be a fantastic partner in helping us to deliver our mission. There's lots more to come!"

Kate Hoare, CEO of Houston said: "I am immensely proud of what we have achieved at Houston in the last five years. Thanks to the dedication and commitment of our talented team and the incredible support from Hurtwood Capital, Houston has gone from strength to strength and we are ambitious for what the future holds. "In Candid we are excited to have a like-minded partner who shares that ambition for the next stage of the journey and we are delighted to be joining Mary and the Brand Potential Group. We have known and worked closely with their team for a number of years and have huge admiration for the work they do. I'm excited to be able to bring their expertise to our own clients and work with our new colleagues to leverage our enhanced offering, both in the UK, Europe and wider markets."