NEW YORK and LONDON, Feb. 11, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Sage Holdings, backed by The Riverside Company and other investors, announces today that it has invested cash and sold equity valued at $180 million to acquire D. F. King & Co., Inc., a leading global proxy solicitation firm, and M:Communications, a premier European financial public relations firm.
D. F. King and M:Communications provide proxy solicitation, corporate governance advice, financial communications, investor relations, and strategic consulting services to more than 800 clients in over 30 countries, including many of the world's leading public companies, mutual fund families, and private equity sponsors.
Sage will make further complementary acquisitions in each of the world's major financial centers and plans to also attract teams and individuals in relevant business areas. Disciplines for expansion include communications consultancy, investor services and investor communications. Sage is building an international business of substantial value in its chosen areas of operations.
Sage Holdings was formed by an experienced industry management team led by Dr. Oliver Niedermaier, formerly CEO of Georgeson and a senior executive of Computershare Limited (ASX:CPU), with the backing of Riverside -- a specialist mid-market private equity firm. Dr. Niedermaier will be the President and CEO of Sage and will be joined on the executive board by Peter Harkins of D. F. King and Hugh Morrison and Nick Miles of M:Communications.
Dr. Oliver Niedermaier, President and CEO of Sage, commented:
"Sage will address the needs of clients across geographies in communicating with stakeholders, including investors and the media. The globalization of stock exchange activity and the internationalization of corporate governance standards, along with increased levels of shareholder activism, demonstrate the need for a global provider of financial communications and shareholder management. Sage will set a new standard for servicing clients' needs in this fast changing international environment. D. F. King and M:Communications will form the cornerstones of the Sage Holdings family."
Peter Harkins, President and CEO of D. F. King, said:
"In this transaction, all of the employee-owners of D. F. King have reinvested in Sage Holdings. As part of a larger financial communications enterprise, we will benefit from desirable business alliances. In addition, through Sage, we'll have greater access to the funding required for ongoing growth initiatives, enhancing prospects for continued success in the U.S., Europe and Asia. An immediate opportunity will be to expand the group's proxy solicitation and investor services offerings in Europe, replicating our market-leading position in the U.S. The combination with M:Communications is important to us, given M's leadership in investor relations in continental Europe."
Hugh Morrison and Nick Miles, co-founders of M:Communications said,
"This is a compelling opportunity and creates a real growth platform for the business. Sage gives us the resources and the currency to accelerate our growth and expand our geographic remit as we attract and develop the most exciting pool of talent in our industry. We have created a value pool -- accessible to our current staff and future joiners -- by exchanging our stake in M: for a very significant financial interest in a well-financed and much larger construct with ambitious plans."
Notes to Editors
Sage Holdings is an international company with offices in New York City, Boston, London, and Munich. Sage Holdings group companies represent many of the world's leading public entities, mutual fund families, and private equity sponsors. www.sageholdings.com
The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is the largest global private equity firm focused on the smaller end of the middle market and is one of the industry's most experienced leveraged buyout investors. Riverside partners with strong management teams to build companies through acquisitions and value-added growth. Since 1988, the firm has invested in 178 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 $3.0 billion, EBITDA of $428 million and more than 11,000 employees. The firm has produced top quartile returns for its investors, which are among the world's leading pension funds, endowments, funds-of-funds, insurance companies and banks. More information on The Riverside Company can be found at www.riversidecompany.com and www.riversideeurope.com.
D. F. King & Co., Inc. -- 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 analyses 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. www.dfking.com
M:Communications -- Headquartered in London, M:Communications is a consultancy which has grown in less than five years to become the European agency of choice for international companies and businesses with ambition, issues or opportunities and a leading UK adviser on corporate reputation, M&A and strategic communications. Core skills are founded on financial public relations, investor communication, crisis PR and government relations. M: has won multiple industry awards, handled over E500bn of M&A work and E250bn of IPOs since launch in 2002. www.mcomgroup.com.
Sage Holdings Enzo Villani, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer (212) 488-2728 The Riverside Company Graham Hearns (216) 535-2221