Cision Ltd. Announces Agreement to Be Acquired by an Affiliate of Platinum Equity for $10.00 Per Share in All Cash Deal Valued at Approximately $2.74 Billion

Platinum

Transaction Provides Immediate Value for Shareholders Acquisition Expected to Close in Q1 2020

CHICAGO, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Cision Ltd. (NYSE: CISN), a leading global provider of software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Platinum Equity in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $2.74 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the members of Cision Ltd.’s board of directors, an affiliate of Platinum Equity will acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Cision Ltd. for $10.00 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a 34% premium over Cision Ltd.’s 60-day volume-weighted average price ended on October 21, 2019.

A special meeting of Cision Ltd.’s shareholders will be held as soon as practicable following the filing of a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and subsequent mailing to its shareholders.  Certain affiliates of GTCR, collectively holding approximately 34% of the outstanding shares of Cision Ltd., have entered into a voting agreement committing them to, among other things, vote in favor of adopting the acquisition agreement.  The proposed transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 and is subject to approval by Cision Ltd.’s shareholders, along with the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and antitrust regulatory approvals, as necessary. Upon completion of the acquisition, Cision Ltd. will become wholly owned by an affiliate of Platinum Equity.

Cision Ltd. may solicit alternative acquisition proposals from third parties during a “go-shop” period from the date of the agreement until November 12, 2019. There is no guarantee that this process will result in a superior proposal, and the agreement provides Platinum Equity with a customary right to match a superior proposal and termination fee if a superior proposal is accepted.  Cision Ltd. does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the solicitation process unless and until the company determines such disclosure is appropriate.

“This transaction will provide shareholders with immediate and substantial cash value, while also providing us with a partner that shares in our commitment to customers and employees and can add strategic and operational value,” said Kevin Akeroyd, Cision’s Chief Executive Officer. “Based on our extensive engagement with Platinum over the past several months, we are confident that Platinum’s support will enable Cision to execute on its strategy and next phase of growth.”

Commenting on the transaction, Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei said: “Cision has a long history of leadership providing software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals and has developed a growing portfolio of earned media management offerings for the world’s leading brands. Platinum looks forward to nurturing Cision’s core business, supporting and anticipating the diverse needs of the company’s customers, and driving new opportunities for innovation. As a private company, Cision will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, while remaining agile and focused on operational excellence. We are excited to partner with Cision’s management team as it embarks on this new chapter.”

Cision Ltd. will file its quarterly report on Form 10-Q reporting its third quarter financial results but does not intend to host a quarterly earnings call.

Financing & Advisors
Equity financing will be provided by investment funds managed, advised or sponsored by Platinum Equity. Platinum Equity has secured committed debt financing for the transaction from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Rothschild & Co is serving as lead financial advisor to Cision and its Board of Directors. Centerview Partners LLC and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. are also acting as financial advisors to Cision. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to Cision, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is acting as M&A legal counsel and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is acting as financing legal counsel to Platinum Equity.

For further information regarding the terms and conditions contained in the definitive merger agreement, please see Cision Ltd.’s Current Report on Form 8-K, which will be filed in connection with this transaction.

About Cision
Cision Ltd. (NYSE: CISN) is a leading global provider of earned media software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals. Cision’s software allows users to identify key influencers, craft and distribute strategic content, and measure meaningful impact. Cision has over 4,800 employees with offices in 22 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. For more information about its award-winning products and services, including the Cision Communications Cloud®, visit www.cision.com and follow Cision on Twitter @Cision.

About Platinum Equity
Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with more than $19 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 40 operating companies that serve customers around the world. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 25 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 250 acquisitions.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the statements made concerning the proposed transaction, and are made pursuant to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “aim,” “potential,” “continue,” “ongoing,” “goal,” “can,” “seek,” “target” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. You should read any such forward-looking statements carefully, as they involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ significantly from those projected or contemplated in any such forward-looking statement. Those risks, uncertainties and assumptions include: (i) the risk that the proposed transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the Company’s business and the price of the Company’s ordinary shares; (ii) the failure to satisfy any of the conditions to the consummation of the proposed transaction, including the authorization of the merger agreement by the Company’s shareholders and the receipt of certain regulatory approvals; (iii) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance or condition that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement; (iv) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the proposed transaction on the Company’s business relationships, operating results and business generally; (v) risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the proposed transaction; (vi) risks related to diverting management’s attention from the Company’s ongoing business operations; (vii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against the Company related to the merger agreement or the proposed transaction, (viii) unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the proposed transaction; (ix) uncertainties as to Platinum Equity’s ability to obtain financing in order to consummate the merger; and (x) other risks described in the Company’s filings with the SEC, such as its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this communication or the date of any document incorporated by reference in this document. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, the Company does not assume any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements whether as the result of new developments or otherwise.



Additional Information and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed transaction, the Company will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and furnish to the Company’s shareholders a proxy statement. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, THE COMPANY’S SHAREHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT IN ITS ENTIRETY WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE AND ANY OTHER DOCUMENTS TO BE FILED WITH THE SEC IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPOSED MERGER OR INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE IN THE PROXY STATEMENT (IF ANY) BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION AND THE PARTIES TO THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and shareholders may obtain a free copy of documents filed by the Company with the SEC at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, investors and shareholders may obtain a free copy of the Company’s filings with the SEC from the Company’s website at http://investors.cision.com or by directing a written request to: Cision Ltd., Attn: Secretary, 130 E. Randolph St., 7th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601.

Participants in the Solicitation
The Company and certain of its directors, executive officers, and certain other members of management and employees of the Company may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders of the Company in favor of the proposed merger. Information about directors and executive officers of the Company is set forth in the proxy statement for Cision’s 2019 annual general meeting of shareholders, as filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A on August 9, 2019. Additional information regarding the interests of these individuals and other persons who may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation will be included in the proxy statement with respect to the merger that the Company will file with the SEC and furnish to the Company’s shareholders.

Contacts:

Cision Ltd.:
Investor Contact:
Jack Pearlstein
Chief Financial Officer
Jack.Pearlstein@cision.com

Media Contact:
Jenn Deering Davis
VP, Communications
Jenn.Deering.Davis@cision.com

Platinum Equity:
Dan Whelan
Principal, Platinum Equity
dwhelan@platinumequity.com

SOURCE Cision Ltd. Group, Inc.

Investor Relations
and Media Contacts:

Mark Barnhill
Partner
+1 310.228.9514 E-mail Mark

Dan Whelan
Principal
+1 310.282.9202 E-mail Dan

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HireVue Announces Close of Transaction with The Carlyle Group

Carlyle

SALT LAKE CITYOctober 15, 2019 – HireVue, provider of the most comprehensive suite of AI-driven talent assessment and video interviewing solutions, today announced the completion of The Carlyle Group’s (NASDAQ: CG) majority investment in HireVue. Existing shareholders, including Granite Ventures, Sequoia and TCV, together with HireVue management, remain minority investors.

“I can’t imagine a better partner for HireVue than The Carlyle Group,” said Kevin Parker, Chairman and CEO at HireVue. “Together we’ll make swift progress on our broad, growth-focused agenda to deliver new hiring solutions and capabilities for the global enterprise.”

“We are delighted to partner with the HireVue team and to support its continued growth as it meets increasing demands for technology-driven interviewing and talent assessment capabilities,” said Patrick McCarter, Managing Director and Co-Head of TMT at The Carlyle Group.

The current executive team at HireVue continues to lead the company under the direction of Mr. Parker.

Equity capital for the investment came from Carlyle Partners VII, an $18.5 billion fund that makes majority and strategic minority investments primarily in the U.S. in targeted industries, including in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies. TMT is a core area of focus for Carlyle, representing more than $30 billion of invested equity since inception.

About HireVue
HireVue is transforming the way companies discover, hire and develop the best talent by combining the power of video, games and AI for better hiring decisions. The HireVue Assessments and Video Interviewing Platform uses a ground-breaking combination of industrial/organizational science and rigorously tested, predictive artificial intelligence to help customers find and engage higher quality talent, faster. HireVue is available worldwide in over 30 languages and has hosted more than 11 million on-demand interviews and one million assessments. Its more than 700 customers worldwide include over one-third of the Fortune 100 and leading brands such as Unilever, Hilton, JP Morgan Chase, Delta Air Lines, Vodafone, Carnival Cruise Line and Goldman Sachs. For more information, visit www.hirevue.com.

HireVue Social Networks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/HireVue
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/HireVue
Facebook: www.facebook/HireVue
YouTube: www.YouTube.com/user/HireVue
Instagram: www.instagram.com/hirevue/

About The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across four business segments: Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $223 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2019, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,775 people in 33 offices across six continents.

PRESS CONTACTS

Cynthia Siemens
Communications Director, HireVue
323-509-7361
csiemens@hirevue.com 

Jenny Olson
mPR, Inc.
310-773-2568
jenny@mpublicrelations.com 

Christa Zipf
The Carlyle Group
212-813-4578
christa.zipf@carlyle.com

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Acceptance period for KKR’s voluntary public tender offer for Axel Springer SE commences

KKR

  • Offer document published after BaFin approval
  • Acceptance period runs from 5 July 2019 to 2 August 2019
  • Offer price of EUR 63 per share in cash, representing a premium of 40 percent to Axel Springer’s unaffected share price
  • Offer subject to regulatory approvals and a minimum acceptance of 20 percent of Axel Springer’s share capital

5 July 2019 – Traviata II S.à r.l., a holding company owned by funds advised by KKR, today published the offer document for its voluntary public tender offer for the shares (ISIN: DE0005501357, DE0005754238) of Axel Springer SE (“Axel Springer”) following the permission by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (“BaFin”) to publish the offer document.

Beginning today Axel Springer shareholders can accept the offer and tender their shares at a price of EUR 63 per share, which represents a premium of 40 percent to the closing price of EUR 45.10 per share on 29 May 2019, i.e. the last close prior to the ad hoc announcement from Axel Springer confirming negotiations with KKR about a potential strategic investment. The relevant details as to how the offer can be accepted are set out in the offer document. To tender their shares, shareholders should contact their respective custodian bank.

The acceptance period will end at midnight (CET) on 2 August 2019 (shareholders should inquire with their custodian banks for any relevant deadlines set by custodian banks which may require actions prior to this date). Consummation of the tender offer is subject to various customary conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals such as merger control, foreign investment control and media concentration, and a minimum offer acceptance of 20 percent of Axel Springer’s share capital.

As announced on 12 June 2019, KKR’s offer is intended to enable a strategic investment in Axel Springer to support the company’s strategy in a partnership with Friede Springer and Mathias Döpfner. Both have committed to form a consortium with KKR to jointly develop Axel Springer further and strengthen its position in a rapidly changing and challenging market environment. The formation of the consortium is subject to the successful closing of the voluntary public tender offer.

KKR and the existing shareholders’ companies of Friede Springer and Mathias Döpfner have also entered into an investor agreement with Axel Springer. This agreement sets out, subject to their review of the offer document, that the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Axel Springer support the offer and intend to recommend Axel Springer shareholders to accept it.

If the offer is successful KKR intends to propose to the other consortium members and to the Executive Board of Axel Springer to initiate a delisting of Axel Springer. In addition, KKR does not intend further post-transaction restructuring measures (e.g. conclusion of a domination and profit transfer agreement, squeeze-out or fundamental changes of the capital structure).

The offer document and a non-binding English translation are now available at
www.traviata-angebot.de/en. Copies of these documents can also be obtained free of charge at UniCredit Bank AG, MFM1EG, Arabellastraße 14, 81925 Munich, Germany (orders per fax: +49 89 378-44081; orders by email: tender-offer@unicreditgroup.de).

###

KKR media contact Germany

Raphael Eisenmann

Hering Schuppener Consulting

Phone: +49 69 92 18 74-86

Mobile: +49 160 90 61 11 07

Email: reisenmann@heringschuppener.com

 

KKR media contact international

Alastair Elwen

Finsbury

Phone: +44 207 251 3801

Mobile: +44 7557 549 325

Email: alastair.elwen@finsbury.com

Stephanie Lichtenberg

Hering Schuppener Consulting

Phone: +49 69 92 18 74-24

Mobile: +49 171 86 29 942

Email: slichtenberg@heringschuppener.com

 

 

Axel Springer SE media contact

Edda Fels

Axel Springer SE

Phone: +49 30 2591 77600

Email: edda.fels@axelspringer.de

 

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About Axel Springer

Axel Springer is a media and technology company and active in more than 40 countries. By providing information across its diverse media brands (among others BILD, WELT, BUSINESS INSIDER, POLITICO Europe) and classifieds portals (StepStone Group and AVIV Group) Axel Springer SE empowers people to make free decisions for their lives. Today, the transformation from a traditional print media company to Europe’s leading digital publisher has been successfully accomplished. The next goal has been identified: Axel Springer wants to become global market leader in digital content and digital classifieds through accelerated growth. The company is headquartered in Berlin and employs more than 16,300 people worldwide. In the fiscal year 2018, Axel Springer generated 71 percent of revenues with its digital activities which also contributed 84 percent to earnings (adj. EBITDA).

Disclaimer and forward looking statements

This announcement is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell shares in Axel Springer SE. The terms and conditions of the public tender offer, as well as further provisions concerning the public tender offer are published in the offer document, the publication of which has been approved by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin) to. Investors and holders of shares in Axel Springer SE are strongly advised to read the offer document and all other documents regarding the public tender offer when they become available, as they will contain important information.

The public tender offer has been published exclusively under the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany and certain applicable provisions of U.S. takeover laws. The public tender offer documentation as well as further documents regarding the public tender offer are available at www.traviata-angebot.de. Any contract concluded on the basis of the public tender offer will be exclusively governed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany and is to be interpreted in accordance with such laws.

To the extent permissible under applicable law or regulation, and in accordance with German market practice, Traviata II S.à r.l., its affiliates or its brokers may purchase, or conclude agreements to purchase, shares in Axel Springer SE, directly or indirectly, outside of the scope of the public tender offer, before, during or after the period in which the offer remains open for acceptance. This applies to other securities which are directly convertible into, exchangeable for, or exercisable for shares in Axel Springer SE. These purchases may be completed via the stock exchange at market prices or outside the stock exchange at negotiated conditions. If such purchases or arrangements to purchase are made they will be made outside the United States and will comply with applicable law, including the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Any information on such purchases will be disclosed as required by law or regulation in Germany or any other relevant jurisdiction and on http://www.traviata-angebot.de.

This announcement may contain certain forward-looking statements and forecasts which relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. The terms “intend”, “can”, “may”, “will”, “would” or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to many risks, uncertainties and other variable circumstances which may cause the statements to be inaccurate or materially differ from the actual result, and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements included in this announcement are made only as of the date hereof. We retain the right to revise any such statement and do not undertake, and specifically decline, any obligation to update any such statements or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any of such statements to reflect future events or developments.

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Montagu announces agreed sale of Covidence

Montagu

Montagu Private Equity (“Montagu”), a leading European private equity firm, announced today that it has agreed to sell Covidence to funds managed by EMK Capital LLP, a UK based private equity firm. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Covidence is the global technology leader in the niche professional market of miniature covert video and audio surveillance equipment. The business was founded in 2007 and is based in Rønde, Denmark. Montagu led the buyout of Covidence in 2015.

Over its four years of ownership, Montagu has helped the business to grow its top line through the development of new products and platforms, and by enhancing the go-to-market strategy. Covidence achieved double digit annual sales growth over the period from 2015 to 2018.

William Blair acted as financial advisor to Montagu and Covidence.

Completion is expected in May 2019.

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WPP to open new campus in Paris

Ardian

PARIS, May 16 2019 – WPP is to create a modern, new campus for its agencies in Paris, due to open in 2021.

The latest in WPP’s ambitious programme of investments bringing agencies together under one roof will be located at 145-149 rue Anatole France in Levallois-Perret. The land was once the home of the Clément-Bayard factory, bought by Citroën in the early 1920s to manufacture the 2CV.
Split over eight floors, the world-class workspace will be designed to encourage greater creativity and closer collaboration and give clients easier access to WPP’s talent and expertise. The campus will include a double-height auditorium, co-working areas, restaurants, two gardens and a rooftop terrace with 360° views of the city.
WPP has agreed a 12-year lease with owners Ardian and LaSalle Investment Management. The 28,000m2 building is currently undergoing a significant restructuring programme led by Baumschlager Eberle Architecture, in partnership with BDG architecture + design, a WPP company, who will also be designing the interior office space.
In common with all new WPP campus buildings, sustainability will be a key focus and the building is targeting a BREEAM rating of Excellent.
Paris is the latest major WPP co-location in Europe. It recently opened its Amsteldok campus in Amsterdam, while Madrid and Milan are due to open later in 2019.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Our campus strategy is about creating fantastic, dynamic workspaces and social areas which inspire our people to do their best, most creative work. Providing world-class working environments encourages innovation, makes it easier for people to work together, and delivers the best integrated offer to our clients.”
Mathieu Morgensztern, WPP’s France Country Manager, said: “This new campus embodies our ambition for WPP in France: to create the future of collaboration between our agencies and our clients. Open, fluid, inspiring, this new venue will be dedicated to the creativity and well-being of WPP’s talent.”
Stéphanie Bensimon, Managing Director of Ardian Real Estate, added: “We are pleased to welcome WPP into this building, the first investment in France from our Real Estate fund. Sustainability is at the heart of every part of the redevelopment project and we are confident that this new office will provide WPP with an inspiring space to work, meet and collaborate.”
Beverley Shadbolt, Country Manager for France at LaSalle, says: “This is an outstanding office space, redeveloped to the highest quality. Its strategic location and size are perfectly suited to large occupiers and as such I am delighted that WPP has chosen this as its new campus.”

Ardian, LaSalle and WPP were advised by JLL as Project Manager.

About WPP

WPP is a creative transformation company. We build better futures for our clients through an integrated offer of communications, experience, commerce and technology.

About Ardian

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$90bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. It manages funds on behalf of around 880 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.

About LaSalle Investment Management

LaSalle Investment Management is one of the world’s leading real estate investment managers with approximately US$65 billion of private and public equity and private debt investments under management. LaSalle is a wholly-owned, operationally independent subsidiary of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., one of the world’s largest real estate companies.

PRESS CONTACTS

Niken Wresniwiro, WPP
+44 (0)20 7282 4600 / +44 (0)7876 005 489
niken.wresniwiro@wpp.com
Ardian
Image 7
Anne-Charlotte Créach/ Simon Zaks
accreach@image7.fr, szaks@image7.fr
Tel.: 01 53 70 74 70
LaSalle Investment Management
Sophie Lhuillier, Steele & Holt
Tel.: +33 6 80 95 63 88
Charlotte Forty de Lamarre, Steele & Holt
   charlotte@steeleandholt.com
Tel.: +33 7 72 32 16 74

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Sitecore acquires Stylelabs – further advances ability to personalize digital experiences

eqt

With a platform that combines content management, commerce and customer analytics with sophisticated machine learning and AI, EQT portfolio company Sitecore helps companies make the most of every online interaction with every customer. Following the add-on acquisition of Stylelabs, Sitecore expands its product platform and further strengthens its digital capabilities.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA, Sitecore is a leading digital experience platform that offers natively-integrated content, commerce, customer analytics, marketing operations, and always-on personalization capabilities. The Company’s products enable companies to deliver the best possible experience to any customer or potential customer in any channel of engagement, ensuring highly-targeted messaging that enables companies to drive increased conversion. Sitecore primarily targets enterprise and mid-market companies across industry verticals, including brands such as American Express, Kimberly-Clark, and L’Oréal, which have put their trust in Sitecore’s solutions.

Since being acquired by EQT VII in 2016, Sitecore has grown to become one of the leading global players of web content management and digital experience software. The Company’s position as a leader in both markets has been repeatedly confirmed by prominent industry analysts such as Gartner® and Forrester®, as well as the trust placed in Sitecore by thousands of blue-chip customers.

Advanced personalization across the content marketing lifecycle

In November 2018, Sitecore announced the acquisition of Stylelabs, an innovative vendor of digital asset management, marketing resource management, and product information management software. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Stylelabs created the Marketing Content Hub®, which is an online platform that allows companies to easily create, manage, and publish marketing content across different channels. Stylelabs’ solutions allow CMOs and their teams to own the entire content lifecycle and understand the impact of specific content assets on individual customers’ behavior, empowering them to deliver even more engaging digital experiences.

Mark Frost, CEO of Sitecore, commented: “The addition of the Stylelabs Content Hub to the Sitecore Experience Cloud creates a unified platform that enable marketing departments to easily define, create, manage, and deliver highly personalized content across any digital channel, at every stage of the customer journey. We believe that this will provide our customers with a distinct advantage in the marketplace and enable them to build life-long customer relationships.”

The combination of Sitecore and Stylelabs further integrates Sitecore into the marketer’s workflow, which strengthens Sitecore’s footprint in its existing customer base and opens substantial additional growth potential for Sitecore in its attractive end-markets. Leading brands such as Microsoft and General Mills are already capturing the value of the combined solution.

The add-on of Stylelabs will immediately accelerate Sitecore’s revenue growth rate and is expected to be accretive to its margin profile in the mid-term.

Preparing Sitecore for continued growth

During the ownership period, one of EQT’s main objectives was to transform Sitecore’s offering from a perpetual license model deployed on-premise, to a cloud-based subscription model. The completion of this transformation and the launch of Sitecore’s fully-managed cloud offering will allow Sitecore to continue its strong growth by delivering state-of-the-art solutions through its digital experience platform. At the same time, this shift has allowed Sitecore to considerably enhance the share of recurring revenue from its large customer base that has seen continuous high growth.

Sitecore has also continued to strengthen its partner program and the Company added award-winning global digital agencies such as WPP and IBM iX to its more than 500 service delivery partners. In addition, Sitecore teamed up with Salesforce to integrate its experience platform solutions with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This broad set of partnerships provides a considerable benefit to Sitecore customers, who gain the ability to easily complement and expand the Sitecore platform with market-leading solutions and services that offer maximum value for their business.

Dominik Stein, Partner and Head of EQT’s TMT Sector Team, concluded “Consumers today demand smooth, more relevant and personalized interactions with businesses, which places an increasing demand on marketers to deliver seamless and engaging digital experiences. Sitecore has been a leader in the industry for a long time and the Company continues to evolve at an impressive pace. The management team around Mark Frost has done an incredible job at driving both innovation and growth which we are expecting to continue in the years to come. We are also very glad that we have been able to establish such a strong board with prominent industry representatives such as Jonas Persson, Craig Conway, and Carsten Thoma, which provides great testimony for the excitement around Sitecore as a leader in its space.”

Read more about Sitecore here.

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Fred Kogel and KKR to acquire leading production company i&u TV; Günther Jauch will stay on as moderator for shows of i&u TV

KKR

  • i&u TV has outstanding production expertise in show business, entertainment and infotainment
  • Günther Jauch to remain show moderator and advisor for i&u TV in the coming years
  • Strong addition for Tele München Gruppe and Universum Film to build independent German content house

Cologne, 29 March 2019 – KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announced the acquisition of i&u TV (“i&u“) with the participation of Atwater Capital, LLC. i&u is an award-winning German television production company that combines information and entertainment in a unique way. The company produces TV shows such as “stern TV“, “Klein gegen Groß“, “Die Ultimative Chartshow“ and “Menschen, Bilder, Emotionen“ that have become defining parts of the German TV experience. i&u works closely with Germany´s most popular TV channels as well as with well-known show moderators such as Barbara Schöneberger, Thomas Gottschalk, Kai Pflaume, Jörg Pilawa, and Oliver Pocher.

“After i&u’s almost 20 years of success, I am grateful to the employees. Andreas Zaik will ensure continuity at the company as Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief. I will also continue to support the company both in front of and behind the camera for several more years. I am delighted that i&u will now become part of this large media company. I have known Fred Kogel for almost 40 years and respect him and his work. With Fred spearheading this powerful platform and a strong owner like KKR, i&u will benefit from new opportunities in the TV market and beyond,“ said Günther Jauch.

Strengthened TV production
“We are very happy to welcome Günther Jauch, Andreas Zaik and the great i&u team to our group. i&u creates unique TV shows and has been setting standards in journalistic entertainment for years. We want to build on this exceptional expertise. Infotainment is a key part of any future TV programming. The genre is becoming more and more important for our customers to differentiate their profile to appeal to viewers. I am looking forward to joining forces with the i&u team. Together, we will take the company to the next level,“ said Fred Kogel, CEO of the new media company.

Next stage of development
Philipp Freise, Member and Head of the European Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry team at KKR, added: “With i&u, a first-class production company and a great team are joining our media company. We continue to realize our ambitious plans and are making great advances in reaching our goal of building a powerful content house in the German film and television industry.“
Following the closing of this transaction, the independent audio-visual content platform will include Tele München Gruppe, Universum Film and i&u. Together, the companies cover all parts of the value chain in the TV and film industry: they buy and produce feature films, series as well as TV shows and distribute this content to cinemas, TV channels, digital services, and home entertainment. At the same time, the companies own market-leading license libraries. Being independent furthermore allows the companies to provide premium content to all customers – from digital streaming providers such as Netflix or Amazon Prime to public and private TV channels. The management team around CEO Fred Kogel is currently preparing the operational start and further expansion of the media company.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close in May 2019. KKR is making its investment from its European Fund IV. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Further information on the new media company of Fred Kogel and KKR can be found in the press release of 21 February 2019 (link) and 25 February 2019 (link).

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Media Contacts

KKR

Raphael Eisenmann Stephanie Lichtenberg
Hering Schuppener Consulting Hering Schuppener Consulting
Phone: +49 69 92 18 74-86 Phone: +49 69 92 18 74-24
Mobile: +49 160 90 61 11 07 Mobile: +49 171 86 29 942
E-Mail: reisenmann@heringschuppener.com E-Mail: slichtenberg@heringschuppener.com

 

i&u TV
Torben Richter
i&u TV
Phone: +49 221 951 599-967

About KKR
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About i&u TV 
i&u TV represents information and entertainment. Combining these was and is the idea that’s behind the German TV production company i&u TV having the intention to develop and produce high quality prime time entertainment, weekly magazines, reports, and docu soaps. Founded in the year 2000 the company is located in Cologne, Germany. Every year about 140 employees produce far more than 100 premiere broadcasts with more than 160 hours of program on German TV.
Some of the most known and frequent shows are: „stern TV“, RTL’s annual review show, „Menschen, Bilder, Emotionen“, „Denn sie wissen nicht, was passiert – Die Jauch-Gottschalk-Schöneberger Show“, „Die Ultimative Chartshow“, „Nachsitzen! Promis zurück auf die Schulbank“, „5 gegen Jauch“ (all RTL), „Klein gegen Groß – Das unglaubliche Duell“, „Ich weiß alles“, „Zeig mir Deine Welt“, the annual review „Das Quiz“ (all ARD). In addition, i&u TV also produces all kinds of shows for other major German broadcasters.
Productions of i&u TV have won numerous awards like: Deutscher Fernsehpreis, Bayerischer Fernsehpreis, Goldene Kamera, CNN Journalist Award, Bobby, Deutscher Comedypreis, RIAS-Preis, Felix Burda Award, Medienpreis der Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung and others.

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GP Bullhound advises Falcon.io on its sale to Cision

Gp Bullhound

Headquartered in Copenhagen, Falcon.io offers an integrated SaaS platform for social media listening, engaging, publishing, measuring, advertising and managing customer data. The Company enables its clients to explore the full potential of digital marketing by managing multiple customer touchpoints from one platform. Falcon.io’s diverse and global client portfolio includes Carlsberg, Toyota, William Grant & Sons, Momondo, Panasonic, Coca-Cola, and many more.

Cision Ltd. (NYSE:  CISN) is a leading global provider of earned media software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals. By adding Falcon’s social marketing solutions to the Cision portfolio, Cision will allow industry professionals to execute sophisticated social media campaigns across paid, owned, and earned media that spans the entire customer journey.

“Social media is core to today’s customer experience, with nearly 2.5 billion users. At Falcon.io, we take pride in providing world-class brands with our leading social media marketing solution,” said Ulrik Bo Larsen, Falcon.io founder and CEO. “GP Bullhound was an outstanding advisor to us, with excellent sector knowledge and creative ideas throughout the entire process. Their team remained dedicated to delivering an outstanding result and we could not have achieved this outcome without the GP Bullhound team.”

Jonathan Cantwell, Director at GP Bullhound, commented: “Having known the Company and team for several years, we are thrilled to have advised Falcon in this important transaction. Cision and Falcon will be a force in the marketing comms and social space for a long time.”

This marks GP Bullhound’s 10th software transaction in the last twelve months and highlights the firm’s track record of working with leading SaaS companies globally. Selected previous transactions include Synthesio (sold to Ipsos), Rant & Rave (sold to Upland Software), Extenda (sold to STG Partners), TextRecruit (sold to iCIMS), and many others.

Inquiries
For inquiries please contact:
Jonathan Cantwell, Director, at Jonathan.Cantwell@gpbullhound.com
Carl Wessberg, Executive Director, at Carl.Wessberg@gpbullhound.com
Eric Crowley, Vice President, at Eric.Crowley@gpbullhound.com

About GP Bullhound
GP Bullhound is a leading technology advisory and investment firm, providing transaction advice and capital to the world’s best entrepreneurs and founders. Founded in 1999, the firm today has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid and New York. For more information, please visit www.gpbullhound.com, or follow on Twitter @GPBullhound.

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BC Partners to Acquire United Group, the Leading Cable and Media Operator in South Eastern Europe

KKR

Investment further strengthens ambition of United Group as the regional leader in communication and media

KKR maintaining substantial minority stake

LONDON & AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 27, 2018– Funds advised by BC Partners (“BC Partners”), a leading international investment firm, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement whereby BC Partners will acquire majority ownership of United Group B.V. (“United Group”) from KKR, a leading global investment firm. KKR will retain a substantial minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

United Group is the leading media and communication services provider across South East Europe. Through significant investments in digital infrastructure, content and proprietary technology, it provides market-leading services to its customers across the region. Over the past 18 years the Group has expanded its presence through both organic growth and acquisitions, now employing over 3,400 staff and providing services to over 1.8m homes.

Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said: “We are delighted to partner with United Group’s management team and KKR to support the company’s next phase of growth. United Group is a high-quality asset, with defensive growth characteristics, leading infrastructure, differentiated content and loyal customers. Its attractive and integrated business model and regional leadership position it well for further organic and acquisitive growth.”

Since its investment in 2014, KKR has supported United Group to build the company into the leading provider of communications and media services in South Eastern Europe. United Group’s fibre and cable networks have the largest presence in the region, covering 1.82m homes which benefit from broadband speeds over 2.6x higher than local peers and high quality local and international content.

Jean-Pierre Saad, Managing Director at KKR said: “We are proud of the way in which United Group has developed over the last five years. It is a great example of a truly convergent operator across communications and media with market leading product innovation and services. We will remain closely committed to the further development of United Group and are looking forward to working with BC Partners and the management team to further strengthen the company’s growth.”

Morgan Stanley and LionTree are acting as advisers to BC Partners while Credit-Suisse is advising United Group.

-ENDS-

About BC Partners

BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over EUR18 billion of assets under management in private equity and private credit. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for three decades. Today, BC Partners executives operate across markets as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in North America and Europe.

Since inception, BC Partners Private Equity has completed 104 private equity investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €129 billion and is currently investing its tenth private equity fund. On the Private Credit front BC Partners Credit is currently investing Special Opportunities Fund I. For more information, please visit www.bcpartners.com.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic manager partnerships that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Source: KKR

Media Contacts
For BC Partners
Henrietta Dehn / Jonathan Hodgkinson
Prosek Partners
Phone: +44(0)20 3878 8566
Email: pro-bcpartners@prosek.com
or
For KKR
Alastair Elwen
Finsbury
Phone: +44(0)20 7251 3801
Email: alastair.elwen@finsbury.com

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Prime Ventures exits Greetz

Prime Ventures

Photobox Acquires Greetz to Create European Leader in Online Greetings Cards and Personal Gifting

Photobox Group, Europe’s leading personalisation business, has snapped up Dutch online cards and giftingretailer Greetz. The acquisition makes Photobox Group the European market leader in online greetings cards and personal gifting through the Greetz and Moonpig brands.

Founded in 2001 as an online greetings cards retailer – in which it is the undisputed market leader with over 7.5 million cards sold in the Netherlands in 2017 – Greetz has now established itself as Holland’s number one brand in personal gifting, with strong positions in categories like online flowers, chocolate, beverages and balloons. In 2017 the company sold almost 1 million gifts. Growing at 25% year on year, the business is on course to double its 2015 revenues in 2018.

Greetz now joins Photobox Group’s family of brands which include Moonpig – the UK leader in online cards, gifts & flowers – as well as Photobox (Europe-wide leader in photo-personalised gifts), Hofmann (Spanish leader in photo-personalised gifts) and PosterXXL (a leading player in the German photo-personalised market).

“We’re delighted to welcome Greetz to our family of gifting and personalisation businesses”, said Jody Ford, CEO Photobox Group. “Much like Moonpig in the UK, Greetz is a loved, household brand, offering customers a highly emotive, personal and convenient way to share special moments and occasions together, and a vibrant, dynamic alternative to generic, off the shelf cards, gifts and flowers. The UK and Netherlands are the two main greetings card markets in Europe and we now have leadership positions in both”, said Ford.

Joining Photobox Group gives us access to a Europe-wide pool of talent, expertise and creativity as we build the next stage of Greetz story”, said Niek Veendrick, CEO Greetz. “Our vision is to be the number one destination for personal gifting and greeting, enabling consumers to surprise and support people close to them. This is a 100% match with the Photobox ambitions and in Moonpig they have a very similar business that we can grow with.”

Photobox Group’s brands and products enable over 10 million customers across 15 countries to share memories, celebrate great moments and inject personal expression into their everyday lives every year. The Group generated revenues of £325m in the fiscal year ending 30 April 2017 and is owned by Exponent Private Equity and Electra Private Equity.

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