PRESS RELEASE: STAGWELL GROUP INVESTS $100 MILLION IN MDC PARTNERS
Stagwell Group Invests $100 Million in MDC Partners
Mark Penn to become CEO of MDC, Continue to Oversee Stagwell’s Investments
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 15, 2019). The Stagwell Group, a private equity firm that manages investments in new media and digital marketing services, today announced its fund, Stagwell Media LP, has invested $100 million in MDC Partners, Inc through the purchase of $50 million in MDC Partners common shares and $50 million non-voting convertible preference shares.
In connection with the closing of the transaction, Stagwell Group Managing Partner Mark Penn will join MDC Partners as Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors. Mark will remain Managing Partner of the Stagwell Group.
“We believe MDC Partners has some of the best brands in the creative and marketing worlds,” said Stagwell’s Chief Investment Officer Jason Reid. “Combined with the management of Mark Penn, this strategic investment positions the company to thrive in an environment of accelerating change that still demands top talent.”
Since its founding in 2015, Stagwell Group has made over 20 investments in digital marketing services and raised over $500 million to support its investment strategy. Stagwell’s portfolio of high growth companies include 2500 strategists across four categories: digital transformation and performance, public affairs and relations, research and insights and creative and storytelling.
The MDC Partners investment is consistent with Stagwell’s strategy of investing in innovative digital marketing services companies.
Stagwell’s existing portfolio includes performance marketing experts ForwardPMX, media innovator MMI Agency, healthcare and consumer experts SCOUT, research leader Harris Insights & Analytics, creative digital leader Code and Theory, strategic communications agency SKDKnickerbocker, telecommunications researchers HarrisX, entertainment research innovator National Research Group, public relations firm Finn Partners, communications agency Wye Communications, digital advocacy shop Targeted Victory, creative advertising consultancy Wolfgang, travel media leaders Ink, creative agency Observatory, online reputation management firm Reputation Defender, digital language service provider Locaria, and technology innovator Stagwell Technologies.
Management of the Stagwell Group remains unchanged.
Terms of the Investment
The Stagwell Group has purchased 14,285,714 Class A shares of the Company (the “Class A Shares”) for $50 million, or $3.50 per share, which represents an 18% premium to the 30-day average closing price of $2.96 per share. In addition, the Stagwell Group has purchased $50 million of convertible preferred shares with a $5.00 conversion price (the “Preference Shares”). Following the transaction, the Stagwell Group owns approximately 19.5% of the outstanding common equity of the Company. Assuming the full conversion of the Preference Shares into the Company’s Class A shares, the Stagwell Group will own approximately 29.2% of the outstanding equity of the Company. Assuming conversion of both the Stagwell Group Preference Shares and the currently outstanding Goldman Sachs preference shares which were issued in 2017, the Stagwell Group will own approximately 24.8% of the outstanding equity of the Company. The Preference Shares have a liquidation preference that accretes at a rate of 8.0% per annum, compounded quarterly until conversion on the five-year anniversary of the issuance date of the Preference Shares.
MDC Partners expects to use the net proceeds from the investment to pay down existing debt under the Company’s credit facility and for general corporate purposes.
About The Stagwell Group
The Stagwell Group is a private equity firm that manages investments in new media and digital marketing services. Its portfolio includes almost 20 collaborative, digital-first agencies and over 2500 employees around the world. Led by a group of agency and industry professionals, Stagwell is a group of leading companies that were born and bred in a digital first era. The companies are not weighed down by legacy assets and are united in their desire to innovate, evolve, grow and deliver superior results for their clients. Stagwell’s portfolio of high growth companies include experts in four categories: digital transformation and performance, public affairs and relations, research and insights and creative and storytelling. Online at www.stagwellgroup.com.
PRESS RELEASE: FORWARD3D AND PMX AGENCY UNITE TO FORM GLOBAL BRAND PERFORMANCE AGENCY, FORWARDPMX
- PMX Agency; Forward3D
FORWARD3D AND PMX AGENCY UNITE TO FORM GLOBAL BRAND PERFORMANCE AGENCY, FORWARDPMX, CREATING NEW RESOURCES AT THE STAGWELL GROUP
With Over 700 Specialists Across 20 Global Offices, And Representing More Than 300 Brands, ForwardPMX Offers A Powerful New Agency Option For Today's Enterprise Businesses
LONDON & NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Forward3D and PMX Agency, today announced that they are uniting to form ForwardPMX, a global brand performance marketing agency. The new brand, part of the Stagwell Group, combines advanced capabilities across North America, EMEA and APAC, and brings a unified global vision for technology and performance that enables brands to operate across any market, platform or language, worldwide. ForwardPMX will be one of the leading, independently owned agencies with over 700 people across 20 offices, and the speed, sophistication and scale that future-facing brands require. ForwardPMX represents a dynamic and agile force in a landscape still largely dominated by traditional models.
"We created ForwardPMX with deliberate size, scope and capabilities in mind, that make us inherently nimbler, more adaptable and more responsive to change. This isn't a matter of consolidation, this is two leading agencies coming together out of an opportunity to be, not only the better, but the best option for brands," said Martin McNulty, founder and CEO of Forward3D, who will serve as Global Chief Executive Officer of the combined group. "Marketing today needs to deal with accelerating rates of complexity, fragmentation and data, and yet consumers still want the same thing: an experience that fits with their lives. Making sense of this is the challenge. It's about how you help brands capitalize on constant change."
London-based Forward3D has established a global reputation of success in performance marketing through proprietary technology, linguistics and data science services for well-respected fashion, travel and retail clients across EMEA and APAC. Forward3D was recognized across a series of prestigious industry award programs in 2018, including its Marketing Agency of the Year win at the UK Agency Awards, as well as Best Marketing Analytics/Attribution Platform at the Digiday Awards Europe for its proprietary technology platform, Stage.
PMX Agency, headquartered in New York City, brings its decades of experience developing consumer-first performance marketing programs for brands. The agency has been recognized for achieving consistent, scalable business growth for some of the nation's leading direct-to-consumer brands, retailers, as well as nonprofit organizations. PMX's track record of excellence has also earned them several industry acknowledgements, including three Top 10 designations in Internet Retailer's 2019 Report for its best-in-class Search, Social Media and Affiliate Marketing solutions.
"Clients today need faster problem solving and constant experimentation to drive bold changes that evolve with consumers," said PMX co-founder and CEO, Chris Paradysz, who will take the role of Global Chief Growth Officer, focused on bringing the agency's latest capabilities to existing and new clients. "ForwardPMX combines two agencies that together can deliver performance solutions that will enable brands to differentiate themselves in their respective markets."
Over the last several years, the two companies have focused on embedding stronger data and technology capabilities in their respective offerings to help brands manage the acceleration of consumers, and the increasingly fragmented environments in which they interact. As a combined group, ForwardPMX will further elevate their offering through globally consistent services, with leading talent to deliver across the 20-office footprint.
"This new venture greatly expands the types of clients that together these two companies serve as they scale up to be even faster, nimbler and more technologically sophisticated," said Mark Penn, Managing Partner and President of The Stagwell Group. "ForwardPMX has been built to meet the future needs of brands and deliver the value that clients demand."
ForwardPMX will be fully integrated in March of 2019.
ForwardPMX is a global performance agency built to transform brands' businesses for the future of consumer interactions. With 20 offices worldwide and over 700 of the industry's most distinguished talent, ForwardPMX brings a unified global vision, with local depth and expertise across a comprehensive set of data, technology and performance solutions that reach people all over the world. By pairing data-led process with powerful technology capabilities, ForwardPMX is uniquely positioned to deliver scale and accelerate problem solving. ForwardPMX is a proud member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of agencies. For more information, please visit www.forwardpmx.com, www.forward3d.com and www.pmxagency.com.
About The Stagwell Group:
The Stagwell Group is a team that goes beyond the holding company. In an era of digital transformation, every brand has different needs and we offer solutions based on unique combinations of our portfolio companies to help brands win at all stages of growth.
The Stagwell portfolio was built digitally first to mirror human behavior and consumption. With over 2,500 digital experts spread across the globe, our team includes global brand performance marketing agency ForwardPMX, media innovator MMI Agency, healthcare and consumer experts SCOUT, research leader The Harris Poll, creative digital agency Code and Theory, strategic communications agency SKDKnickerbocker, telecommunications researchers HarrisX, entertainment research innovator National Research Group (NRG), public relations firm Finn Partners, communications agency Wye Communications, digital advocacy shop Targeted Victory, creative advertising consultancy Wolfgang, content centric creative agency Observatory, online reputation management firm Reputation Defender, technology innovator Stagwell Technologies and travel media leaders Ink. Learn more at www.stagwellgroup.com.
Associate Director of PR & Marketing, PMX Agency
EMEA & APAC:
Head of Marketing, Forward3D
+44 (0)20 3476 3725
PRESS RELEASE: INK JOINS STAGWELL GROUP
INK JOINS STAGWELL GROUP
Leading travel media company with a global network of content marketing creators
LONDON & WASHINGTON, D.C. -- (October 2, 2018) -- The Stagwell Group (http://www.stagwellgroup.com/) today announced its affiliate has taken a majority share in leading travel media and marketing company Ink (https://ink-global.com). Together the two companies will further the mission of leading the travel media industry through premium content creation, media sales and distribution to this growing global market.
Through a well-established and unique business model, Ink creates award-winning digital, video, print and experiential branded content, as a profit center, for 21 of the world’s largest travel companies including American Airlines, United Airways, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Norwegian, Qatar Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, easyJet and Amtrak. Ink’s innovative media partnerships allow more than 802 million passengers annually to interact and engage with its clients’ brands and content. Headquartered in London, Ink has a global network of content creators and an engine of media sales in Abu Dhabi, Miami, New York, São Paulo and Singapore.
“Ink partners with the world’s largest travel companies to help them connect in a meaningful way, with passengers at crucial moments in their journey via digital, print and experiential branded content. Today’s consumers want unique and inspiring experiences, and that is what Ink helps travel companies deliver across every channel,” said Mark Penn, Managing Partner and President of The Stagwell Group. “Travel numbers around the world are growing year on year and they are very valuable and receptive consumers – a perfect audience for any marketing plan today.”
Inks’ joint CEOs, Michael Keating and Simon Leslie, said “We are delighted to join the Stagwell family, as we can see the many opportunities to further shape the future of media from within this strong group. Significant and solid growth is at the heart of Mark Penn’s plan, and we are thrilled to be part of this international powerhouse.”
Ink will continue to produce inspiring content in 10 languages that help brands engage and connect with travelers around the world. The company will maintain operations under the Ink brand based in London and Michael Keating and Simon Leslie will remain as joint CEOs.
This is the Stagwell Group’s 18th investment in three years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
About The Stagwell Group
The Stagwell Group LLC is a registered investment advisory company formed by Mark Penn. The Stagwell Group manages a private equity fund whose portfolio includes more than fifteen collaborative, digital-first agencies. Stagwell’s portfolio of high growth companies include digital marketing agency Forward 3D Group, media innovator MMI Agency, healthcare and consumer experts SCOUT, research leader Harris Insights & Analytics, performance marketing firm PMX Agency, creative digital leader Code and Theory, strategic communications agency SKDKnickerbocker, telecommunications researchers HarrisX, entertainment research innovator National Research Group (NRG), public relations firm Finn Partners, communications agency Wye Communications, digital advocacy shop Targeted Victory, creative advertising consultancy Wolfgang, creative agency Observatory, online reputation management firm Reputation Defender and technology innovator Stagwell Technologies. www.stagwellgroup.com.
Founded in 1994 in London, Ink is the world leader in travel media, connecting thousands of advertisers and brands to a highly receptive, and growing global audience of 802 million passengers. Ink creates and delivers inspiring, award-winning content for the world’s biggest and greatest airlines, railways, travel companies and their passengers. Ink’s work has been recognized with numerous awards including: Best Overall Editorial, Travel Magazine of the Year, Best Cover, Best Art Director and Best Photography, across events in the Americas, Europe and Asia. In 2017, Ink won 17 prestigious design and editorial awards. In addition to its headquarters in London, Ink has offices in Singapore, Miami, New York, Abu Dhabi and São Paulo. www.ink-global.com.
The Stagwell Group
PRESS RELEASE: STAGWELL MEDIA LLC SECURES $260 MILLION INVESTMENT FROM ALPINVEST PARTNERS
AlpInvest Becomes the First Outside Investor in the Marketing Group Since Its Launch by Mark Penn and Steve Ballmer
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 14, 2018). The Stagwell Group and AlpInvest Partners today announced the completion of a $260 million capital raise by Stagwell Media LLC from investment funds managed by AlpInvest Partners, a global private equity investor. Since its founding in 2015, Stagwell Group has completed seventeen investments and is on track for more than $400 million in consolidated net revenue this year. The new investment will support Stagwell’s strategy of building a network of innovative marketing and research companies.
“The marketing landscape is in the midst of a dramatic transformation and we are excited to have AlpInvest support our mission in creating a network of strategists and tacticians that is nimble and digital-centric, building a go-to resource for brands looking to succeed in today’s complex marketplace,” said Mark Penn, Managing Partner of the Stagwell Group. “We created Stagwell as a meaningful alternative to the holding companies, aptly named, since they have long been holding brands back from delivering on their full potential in a digital-first world.”
“Stagwell has demonstrated a superior operating model. Over the past three years, Mark and his team have built a highly attractive portfolio of world class digital-first marketing companies that drive significant results for brands,” said Michael Hacker, Managing Director, AlpInvest Partners.
“We are thrilled to support Stagwell through this secondary transaction at a key a moment in their development, as their portfolio continues to expand rapidly with exciting new capabilities and geographic reach that will allow Stagwell to compete on a global basis,” said Julian Rampelmann, Managing Director, AlpInvest Partners.
Management of the Stagwell Group remains the same. Further details of the transaction were not announced.
Mercury Capital Advisors served as the exclusive financial advisor to the Stagwell Group.
About The Stagwell Group
The Stagwell Group LLC (the “Stagwell Group”) is a registered investment advisory company formed by Mark Penn. The Stagwell Group manages a private equity fund whose portfolio includes more than a dozen collaborative, digital-first agencies. Stagwell’s portfolio of high growth companies include digital marketing agency Forward 3D Group, media innovator MMI Agency, healthcare and consumer experts SCOUT, research leader Harris Insights & Analytics, performance marketing firm PMX Agency, creative digital leader Code and Theory, strategic communications agency SKDKnickerbocker, telecommunications researchers HarrisX, entertainment research innovator National Research Group (NRG), public relations firm Finn Partners, communications agency Wye Communications, digital advocacy shop Targeted Victory, creative advertising consultancy Wolfgang, creative agency Observatory, online reputation management firm Reputation Defender and technology innovator Stagwell Technologies. Online at www.stagwellgroup.com.
About AlpInvest Partners
AlpInvest is a leading global private equity investor, with more than $45 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2018 and more than 150 employees across offices in New York, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Indianapolis. Since its inception, AlpInvest has invested with over 350 managers and committed $62 billion across over 640 primary commitments to private equity funds, more than 125 secondary transactions and in excess of 230 equity co-investments. AlpInvest offers customized private equity investment solutions to investors through separately managed accounts and commingled funds. AlpInvest operates as a subsidiary of The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG), a global alternative asset manager with $210 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2018. For more information, please visit www.alpinvest.com.
Media Contact for the Stagwell Group
Beth Lester Sidhu
Phone: +1 (202)423-4414
Media Contact for AlpInvest Partners
Maaike van der Schoot
Phone: +31 (0) 20 540 7628
THE STAGWELL GROUP ACQUIRES REPUTATIONDEFENDER BUSINESS UNIT FROM REPUTATION.COM
The Stagwell Group Acquires ReputationDefender Business Unit from Reputation.com
WASHINGTON, D.C.: April 5, 2018
The Stagwell Group, which invests in marketing services companies, today announced its fund, Stagwell Media LLC, has acquired ReputationDefender®, a global leader in Online Reputation Management and digital privacy for individuals and small businesses, from Reputation.com Inc.
ReputationDefender gives individuals and small businesses the power to control their digital privacy and reputation. The company has pioneered solutions that build a positive and accurate online presence for clients and remove unwanted personal information from the Internet. As the first and largest provider in its field, ReputationDefender has served hundreds of thousands of clients around the world from its offices in Redwood City, California, Tempe, Arizona, and Liverpool, England.
The sale provides significant synergy for ReputationDefender with the digital marketing and PR firms in The Stagwell Group’s portfolio, and enables former parent company Reputation.com to focus exclusively on its array of SaaS applications for enterprise clients, which include business listings, online review management, surveys, operational analytics, social media management, and a broad array of managed services. The new entity will continue doing business as ReputationDefender, enabling a seamless transition for existing customers and partners. ReputationDefender’s CEO, Rich Matta, will continue to lead the business into its next chapter under The Stagwell Group.
“ReputationDefender is a key player in an important space that has become even more important given concerns over social media and privacy evident today,” said Mark Penn, Managing Partner and President of The Stagwell Group. “With support from the best-in-class digital marketing agencies and PR firms in our portfolio, we believe Stagwell can help accelerate ReputationDefender’s growth and reaffirm its commitment to online accuracy and privacy.”
ReputationDefender CEO Rich Matta said, “I couldn’t be happier for our customers and employees. Mark Penn shares an incredible vision for our business. Even more importantly, he’s assembled a family of companies and capabilities at Stagwell that are very complementary to ours – they’ll help us access our market in ways that weren’t possible before.” Matta continued, “Under Stagwell’s umbrella, we’ll also be able to double-down on the people and technology investments that have been delivering results for our customers and made us the market leader.”
Michael Fertik, founder and CEO of Reputation.com, said, “It’s been incredibly rewarding to see the business that I founded over a decade ago grow into two thriving companies that address distinct types of customers and needs across the spectrum of Online Reputation Management. I look forward to seeing both companies continue to help their customers thrive.”
This is the Stagwell Group’s 17th investment. Other companies in the portfolio include digital marketing agency Forward 3D Group, media innovator MMI Agency, healthcare and consumer experts SCOUT, research leader Harris Insights & Analytics, performance marketing firm PMX Agency, creative digital leader Code and Theory, strategic communications agency SKDKnickerbocker, entertainment research innovator National Research Group (NRG), public relations firm Finn Partners, communications agency Wye Communications, digital advocacy shop Targeted Victory, creative advertising consultancy Wolfgang and technology innovator Stagwell Technologies.
Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.
About The Stagwell Group The Stagwell Group LLC (the “Stagwell Group”) is a registered investment advisory company formed by Mark Penn. The Stagwell Group manages a private equity fund whose portfolio includes more than a dozen collaborative, digital-first agencies. Online at www.stagwellgroup.com.
About ReputationDefender ReputationDefender was founded in 2006 to give individuals and small businesses the power to control their digital privacy and reputation. The company continues to pioneer solutions that safeguard and remove personal data from the Internet and build a positive and accurate Web presence for clients. Follow ReputationDefender on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and on the web at https://www.reputationdefender.com.
About Reputation.com Reputation.com, Inc. pioneered Online Reputation Management (ORM) technology for the enterprise market. With its SaaS platform, enterprise clients across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific gain actionable insights that help them make operational improvements, improve online reputation and drive visits and revenue. Reputation.com technology has managed tens of millions of reviews and interactions across hundreds of thousands of online points of presence for global companies spanning 77 industry verticals, including healthcare, retail, automotive, restaurants and others.