Ben Smith, Founder, PRmoment.com
This week, in the latest of our life stories podcast, I’m interviewing Alex Northcott, co-founder of Gorkana and founder of Roxhill Media.
Alex has packed quite a bit into his career.
He was originally in the British Army as an officer in the Gurkhas.
His first job when he left the British Army was in PR at JP Morgan.
He then worked for Morgan Stanley before cofounding Gorkana in 2004 alongside Michael Webster.
Between them they grew Gorkana over a six-year period before selling to Durrants – who after various acquisitions became what is now known to us all as Cision.
The deal was reported to be worth just shy of £28m.
Alex then left Cision and five years ago set up Roxhill Media. Which is again a media database company – albeit with a technology twist or two.
Roxhill has a turnover of circa £5m and employs about 25 people in the UK.
[00:01:27] How a relatively short career in the British Army shaped Alex's career.
[00:01:49] Why Alex decided to join the Gurkhas.
[00:03:59] When Alex left the army and what made him choose a career in PR.
[00:06:05] How Alex set up Gorkana alongside Michaell Webster in 2000 and grew it to a business with a turnover of £8m which they then sold to Durrants (now Cision) for £28m.
[00:06:42] What was the genesis of the idea behind Gorkana?
[00:08:31] Why Alex's wife made him sleep on the sofa for two weeks when he resigned from Morgan Stnaley to set up Gorkana!
[00:09:25] Alex talks us through the growth of Gorkana in its early years.
[00:12:12] Why did Alex and Michael sell Gorkana when it was still a relatively young business?
[00:14:30] How Alex told potential buyers what he wanted for the business before opening himself up to a due diligence process.
[00:17:57] What are the important KPIs you need to get right if your want to sell your business?
[00:19:03] How the multiple of profit, as a way of valuing the business, was completely irrelevant for Gorkana – because it had three competing offers.
[00:20:03] Why Alex left Durrants (now Cision) only months after the purchase of Gorkana.
[00:22:50] Why having made approximately £14m selling Gorkana, Alex decided to do it all again and found Roxhill Media.
[00:26:06] Why Alex wants to sell Roxhill Media for more than he sold Gorkana.
[00:28:40] How the media relations market is changing.
[00:33:48] Why Alex now stops eating at seven o'clock at night and then drinks rose with his children!
If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our twice weekly event and subscriber alerts.
Currently, every new subscriber will receive three of our favourite reports about the public relations sector.