BI expands with Mint acquisition

BI has extended its reach to Asia-Pacific and the Middle East with the purchase of Australian event-management and performance-improvement company The Mint Organization. Mint had a turnover of £9.3m in 2005-6 and employs 30 people in offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai. It has three businesses covering motivation, events and trips and operates in the automotive, financial, FMCG, telecom and IT sectors. Clients include General Motors, Volvo and AIA. BI chairman, David Hackett said the deal give BI access to exciting markets. "Mint is very well established in Asia Pacific and the Middle East," he said. "Very few organisations have that kind of network.” Hackett described Mint as a low-tech business with great client relationships and said BI would introduce its products and services to extend its proposition. “Senior management in markets like China and Dubai are predominantly American, European and Australian who understand performance management but have not had the suppliers until now. We can take our competencies there and be warmly welcomed.” The deal will be spread over the next five years, during which time founder and CEO, Nigel Gaunt will run the business, reporting to BI managing director Richard Bandell. The Mint Organization will become a subsidiary of a newly-formed holding company, BI Worldwide Group. It will be known as The Mint Organization, a member of BI Worldwide. Hackett, who yesterday flew to the first strategy meeting with Mint managers, held in Bali, will be part-seconded to the new business, working out of both Dubai and the UK. BI client account director Damian Walls will also be seconded to Mint, and will be based initially in Australia. BI began looking for an acquisition at the beginning of the year, said Hackett who didn’t rule out further deals. “We are looking for appropriate acquisitions at the appropriate time.”

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