Waterland Private Equity (“Waterland”) today announced its majority investment in Markettiers4DC (“M4DC”), a London-headquartered network of tech-enabled, data-driven, broadcast activated, strategic communications agencies. Financial details have not been disclosed.
Founded by CEO Howard Kosky in 1994, M4DC works with large national and international corporations including Rolls-Royce, Linkedin and Unilever. Today, the business employs a team of 150 people in the UK and UAE, providing services across its three key pillars of strategic communications: data and insight, broadcast and virtual / hybrid events.
M4DC aims to become a global leader in evidence-driven communications. This partnership with Waterland will support M4DC’s vision by accelerating investment in services that deliver meaningful and measurable impact to its clients, and by helping retain and attract the best people in the industry. M4DC also has international growth ambitions, predominantly focussing on entry to the North American market.
M4DC operates in the global communications market worth £69bn, growing at 7-10% per annum. This is driven by an increasingly complex and fragmented media landscape, but also growing demand from clients for more data-led communications strategies to deliver improved effectiveness. Through M4DC’s market-leading services and reputation for flawless operational delivery, the business has enjoyed 30% year-on-year revenue growth over the recent period.
With Waterland’s support, the business aims to expand internationally through an active buy and build programme. Waterland has deep experience in the marketing and communications industries from its recent and current partnerships in Dept, Intracto, Sideshow Group and Farner Consulting. Over the investment period, M4DC’s buy and build strategy is focussed on acquiring complementary communications businesses, helping the group build expertise, new capabilities and geographical coverage. Follow-on funding is available to the business to support these plans.
Howard Kosky, Founder and CEO, will continue to lead the business supported by M4DC’s leadership team of Peter Mitchell (Group MD), Nicky Marks (MD, Censuswide and Opinion Matters) and Scott Jackson (MD, Through The I).
Howard Kosky, CEO of M4DC, said: “In Waterland, we have found an experienced and supportive partner to help us achieve our growth ambitions. We see strong potential to expand our business internationally, particularly in the US, and Waterland’s experience as a specialist buy and build investor will help deliver our acquisition strategy, finding the right businesses to partner with and integrate into the growing M4DC network.”
Ryan Hallworth, Associate Principal at Waterland Private Equity, said: “M4DC has all the hallmarks of an exciting Waterland investment. Successful for nearly thirty years with a history of growth and innovation and a global client base, the business is well placed to expand both in the UK and internationally. The Company operates in a highly fragmented market offering compelling opportunities for value-adding acquisitions in both the UK and North America. We very much look forward to working alongside Howard and the team as they embark on the next stage of their growth journey.”
European private equity investment group Waterland opened its first UK office in the North West in early 2017, and expanded its presence with a London office in June 2021.
Over the last six years, Waterland UK has made seven platform investments and 38 bolt-on acquisitions, with a market-led origination strategy focusing on partnering with entrepreneurs and family businesses operating in fragmented markets.
Waterland was advised by Pinsent Masons (Legal), PwC (Tax), 8Advisory (FDD), Luminii Consulting (CDD), Rowan Group (MDD) and Clearwater (Debt Advisory). Debt was provided by Thincats. Waterland team: Ryan Hallworth, Robin Elley, Anton Holm.
M4DC was advised by PCB Partners (M&A) and Mayer Brown (Legal).