Shape History completes successful MBO to pave way for new chapter

Authors: Lauren Kay-Lambert
  • Reading time: 3 min.
  • Posted on: May 2, 2022

We’re hugely excited to announce that Shape History has transferred ownership to now majority shareholders and current joint MDs, Lauren Kay-Lambert and Ed Fletcher from by founder Mike Buonaiuto. The pair will now also be joining the board of directors, as part of the management buyout (MBO) – a form of sale when existing employees buy out the existing owners of a business

The MBO is part of a reshuffle, with Founder Mike Buonaiuto stepping back as CEO, remaining as interim Chairman of the board.

With the company achieving both social and financial returns, whilst scaling 40% year on year since launch, this deal represents another social impact success story, encouraging more angel investment amongst socially responsible startups.

The agency has been behind some of the UK’s most landmark political and social impact campaigns, having a real impact on laws, policies and people’s lives, since 2015.

Outgoing CEO and Founder, Mike Buonaiuto said: “The goal for Shape History has always been for it to redefine the way the agency sector can shift the focus to social impact, and transform the lives of those it supports, both externally with partners and internally with our team. This MBO signals the inspiring opportunity for socially responsible organisations and impact-led startups, to reach their potential and recognizes the outstanding leadership of our existing management team in this mission. The ambitions for continued growth and social impact are wonderfully exciting.”

Shape History supports organisations to reach the sustainable development goals, nurturing a fairer world faster, through creative storytelling, powerful brands, political campaigns & strategic communications. Its international clients have included the United Nations, Arsht-Rockefeller Resilience Center, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Save the Children, The World Health Organization, The LSE Marshall Institute and Fondation Botnar, spanning 6 continents.

New Co-owners, Lauren and Ed said, “We’re excited to take Shape History into a new phase of the agency’s existence, one that continues to focus on driving impact through communications, but crucially one that recognises the ongoing challenges facing our sector and our world. Our focus is both on how we can tackle the exponential climate crisis we face, but also how we can continue to build a company that is truly representative of the world we live in at every level of the agency.”

The value of the deal has not been disclosed. Shape History, based in London Bridge, was founded in 2015.

Shape History’s original angel investor, Danny Witter said, “I’m so proud of the important work that Shape History does every day, and how fast they’ve grown. I hope more and more investors will use the UK’s SEIS early stage tax-advantaged investment regime to back social start ups.”

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