Riverside Europe Invests in Communications Platform
Premier PR Firm and Global Proxy Firm Join Sage Holdings
(February 11, 2008) – The Riverside Company, along with several other investors, has backed Sage Holdings (“Sage”) in the acquisition of a premier financial communications firm – M:Communications – and of a leading global proxy solicitation firm – D.F. King & Co., Inc. (“DF King”).
Established in June 2007 in Munich, Germany, Sage Holdings was created to support the global growth of a range of international communication businesses through acquisitions, investments, joint-ventures, strategic alliances and organic growth. Due to the consolidation of stock exchanges, migration of corporate governance regulation across the Atlantic and increased levels of shareholder activism, Sage’s founders recognized that a global provider of financial communications and shareholder management is required to navigate through the global capital markets.
“Sage has created a global business that addresses the needs of clients across geographies in dealing with all stakeholders, including investors and the media,” said Dr. Oliver Niedermaier, President and CEO of Sage Holdings. “With more than 600 staff members serving over 800 clients located in 30 countries, Sage will set a new standard for servicing its clients in this fast-changing international environment. M:Communications and DF King will form the cornerstones of the Sage Holdings family.”
“Sage is poised to become the most comprehensive shareholder management services firm globally – this is a unique concept based on the developing needs of corporations in dealing with a global capital market structure,” said Kai Köppen, Riverside Partner. “The acquisition of M:Communications, coupled with DF King, is an example of the intelligent choices Sage has made to date, and reflects the selectiveness of its acquisition strategy going forward.”
Founded in 2002 with headquarters in London, M:Communications provides global corporate communications and financial public relations consulting services. M:Communications has a strong list of clients that include some of the best-known names in business. M:Communications competes on quality of service, reputation, relationships and expertise, and was recognized as media relations advisor of the year by Acquisitions Monthly.
Headquartered in New York with a regional headquarters in London, DF King is a leading international, full-service proxy solicitation firm, specializing in proxy contests and tender/exchange offers for corporate control. Founded in 1942, the firm maintains top-ranked shares of the U.S. and European M&A markets for its services, including shareholder analyses and vote projections, proxy solicitation for annual/special meetings of stockholders (AGMs/EGMs) and information agent services in tender/exchange offers. DF King’s client list includes a broad base of blue-chip companies, such as Exxon Mobil, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, The Home Depot, Fortis, Morgan Stanley, Motorola, Vodafone Group and Time Warner.
Working on the transactions with Köppen from Riverside were Peter Schaberger, Vice President; Erik Holmsen, Vice President; and Justin Kent, Associate. Equity for the Riverside portion of the transactions was provided by the Riverside Europe Fund III. Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisor to DF King in connection with this transaction.
The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is the largest global private equity firm focused on the smaller end of the middle market (“SEMM”) and is one of the industry’s most experienced leveraged buyout investors. Riverside specializes in investing in premier SEMM companies (those with enterprise values of less than $150 million) and partners with strong management teams to build companies through acquisitions and value-added growth. Since 1988, the firm has invested in 179 transactions with a total enterprise value of $3.4 billion. Its current portfolio in the U.S. and Europe numbers 61, with combined annual sales of $3 billion, EBITDA of $428 million and more than 11,000 employees. Riverside offers the resources to complete acquisitions smoothly and in as little as 30 days – thanks to its sizeable pool of capital under management (nearly $2 billion in nine funds), over 150 professionals in 17 offices (New York, Cleveland, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Budapest, Munich, Prague, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, Tokyo, Stockholm and Seoul), and long-standing relationships with partner lenders. Five out of seven of the firm’s mature vintages are currently top quartile, and the firm’s investors include the world’s leading pension funds, endowments, funds-of-funds, insurance companies and banks. Please visit www.riversidecompany.com and www.riversideeurope.com for more information.
Sage Holdings is an international company with offices in Munich, London, New York City and Boston. Sage Holdings group companies represent many of the world’s leading public entities, mutual fund families and private equity sponsors. For more information, please visit www.sageholdings.com.
M:Communications is a consultancy that has grown in less than five years to become a leading UK adviser on corporate reputation, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic communications, and the European agency of choice for international companies and businesses with ambition, issues or opportunities. Core skills are founded on financial public relations, investor communication, crisis public relations and government relations. M:Communications has won multiple industry awards, and has handled over €500 billion of mergers and acquisitions work and €250 billion in IPOs since its launch in 2002. Please visit www.mcomgroup.com.
D.F. King & Co.
Founded in 1942, D.F. King & Co., Inc. is a leading international, full-service proxy solicitation firm, specializing in proxy contests and tender/exchange offers for corporate control. Headquartered in New York with a regional headquarters in London, the firm maintains top-ranked shares of the U.S. and European M&A markets for its services, including shareholder analysis and vote projections, proxy solicitation for annual/special meetings of stockholders (AGMs/EGMs) and information agent services in tender/exchange offers. Over the years, through internal and external growth initiatives, the firm has expanded vertically and laterally with complementary and value-added offerings, which can be integrated into its core services or provided on a standalone basis. To learn more, please visit www.dfking.com.