Funds advised by private equity investment group Apax Partners have agreed to sell their majority ownership stake in Advantage Sales & Marketing (ASM) to affiliates of Leonard Green & Partners (LGP) and funds advised by CVC Capital Partners.
Founded in 1987, Irvine, Calif.-based ASM provides outsourced sales and marketing services to manufacturers of consumer goods and retailers across multiple channels as well as headquarter sales and support, retail merchandising and marketing services.
Members of ASM’s senior management will continue to maintain a significant equity interest in the company, which is expected to achieve 2014 revenue of approximately $1.6 billion. The company employs 38,000 associates in offices throughout North America.
Apax Funds purchased a controlling stake in ASM in 2010. During Apax Funds’ ownership period, ASM achieved growth by enhancing its core service offerings in existing channels, expanding into new channels and enhancing the technology platforms used to collect, analyze and deliver actionable insights to clients.
“Apax Partners have added tremendous value to ASM over the past three-and-a-half years,” said Tanya Domier, ASM CEO. “This partnership has been a textbook example of how a private equity firm and a management team can create value together through collaborating on strategy, growth and vision, and being willing to work hard to take a good company to great. We set out with a clear vision, worked hard together and focused on accelerating growth, and that is exactly what we accomplished.”
Jonathan Sokoloff, managing partner at LGP, praised ASM’s “incredible track record, strong brand equity and tremendous opportunities for growth.”
Los Angeles-based LGP, founded in 1989, has invested in 70 companies with aggregate value of $74 billion in the form of traditional buyouts, going-private transactions, recapitalizations, growth capital investments, corporate carve-outs and selective public equity and debt positions.
“We are delighted to have the rare opportunity to back a team that has accomplished so much, yet has many pathways to sustain significant future growth,” said Christopher Stadler, managing partner at CVC.
CVC was founded in 1981, and today has a network of 20 offices and some 250 employees throughout Europe, Asia and the US. CVC manages funds on behalf of more than 300 investors including pension funds, financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds and other investors. CVC Funds currently own 55 companies worldwide that generate more than $120 billion in revenues and employ approximately 400,000 people.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the third quarter of 2014.
In the feature photo at top is Advantage Sales & Marketing CEO Tanya Domier.