Manchester-based company The Gate Films, who for the past two decades has been creating and telling compelling stories through TV commercials, online content and short films - for high-profile creative agencies as well as home-grown start-ups, has been acquired in a management buyout (MBO) which will see the existing owners bought out by the current management team.
Thirty-year-old Serena Fylan will now become managing director of the company, led the management team in the deal which will see seen current owners Sarah Jarvis and Simon Lewis sell the firm after twenty years.
Formed in 1996, The Gate, who has seen significant growth with a £6million turnover in the last financial year, has offices in Manchester, London, Edinburgh and Cape Town and employs 20 full time staff (across threes UK sites) as well as a roster of highly-skilled freelancers.
The award-winning company, (who won a Roses Grand Prix award for its work on #LoveYourNHS and Chairman's Award for Graphene) is very much focused on being a director-led production company, looking to continually push boundaries and make technically and aesthetically pleasing content for a diverse array of agencies.
Serena first got involved with the company when she undertook work experience while applying for University. She then went off to study at Bournemouth University, joining The Gate three years ago taking up the position of Head of Production. She has a vast wealth of experience of not only making high-end commercials but short films and pop promos.
Serena said: “This is an exciting time for The Gate as our sustained creative growth has allowed us to attract great scripts from many new and established agencies across the UK and Ireland. Creating and delivering inspiring and award-winning content has been the core of our business for twenty years and now under my stewardship we aim to do more than ever before. My focus is very much about finding great directors and film makers to be able to offer a great range of talent to the agencies and their brands, who we work with across the UK. We have the breadth of expertise and flexibility that means we are equally at home producing a five-day international shoot as we are making table-top content in a small studio.
She continued: “In a time of buoyancy for our sector, I feel Manchester is becoming a new hub for creatives to operate. We are working with more North West business year on year and I hope to continue to showcase what creative and directing talent lies in our city.”
Simon Lewis, Outgoing CEO added: “Serena has the right drive, ambition, dedication and talent to continue to push The Gate on its exciting journey which was started twenty years ago by Sarah and I. Alongside the rest of the management team, Serena will ensure the way in which the company operates and the high level of service its agencies receive will remain the same, and the level of talent available to those agencies will continue to grow. The MBO was the correct route for the business, and most importantly the team, who have been a huge part of this company’s incredible growth and success.”
The Gate Films will be moving to new premises in central Manchester and launching a new website. Serena adds: “With the company under new control it is important to make a statement of intent and we feel that by moving from the groups HQ into our own independent space we can focus solely on pushing our own offering forwards. We’re excited about the launch of our new website which will include some exciting new talent”
"This is an exciting time for The Gate as our sustained creative growth has allowed us to attract great scripts from many new and established agencies across the UK and Ireland."
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