Finance

GTCR Buys Majority Stake in Programmatic Company

Deal expected to close later this month 8/31/2017 12:32 PM Eastern

GTCR, the private equity firm that sold its cable operations to Cable One earlier this year, said it has purchased a majority stake in Simplifi Holdings, a Texas-based company that focuses on advanced advertising platforms.

The company’s product – dubbed Simpli.fi – provides a programmatic platform that enables the largest buyers of localized advertising, including local media groups and agencies, to execute high volumes of hyper-targeted campaigns across a variety of digital ad formats and device types.

Terms were not disclosed.

GTCR will partner with co-founders Frost Prioleau and Paul Harrison and the current management team as they continue to expand the company's capabilities and market presence. GTCR expects to commit additional equity capital to fund future acquisitions and organic growth initiatives.

"Frost, Paul and the Simpli.fi team have built a strong business serving a unique niche that is well-positioned for continued success in a rapidly growing industry," GTCR managing director Craig Bondy said in a statement. "As both large and small advertisers look to localize and personalize their campaigns, Simpli.fi's platform, through the use of unstructured data, will help them better connect with their target audiences."

The transaction is expected to close in late September 2017.

"We are excited to partner with GTCR as we continue to build our platform and solve the needs of local advertisers," Prioleau, who has served as Simpli.fi's CEO since its inception, said in a statement. "GTCR brings significant resources and experience in building industry-leading companies, and they will be a valuable resource in the long-term expansion of our business."

GTCR sold its cable holdings – Rural Broadband Investments – to Cable One in January for about $735 million. The Chicago-based private equity company has invested more than $14 billion in over 200 companies since its inception in 1980.

"Simpli.fi consistently delivers performance on high volumes of localized campaigns, providing a unique value for its customers," said GTCR vice president Stephen Master in a statement. "We look forward to partnering with the Simpli.fi team and supporting continued product innovation and strategic acquisitions."

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to GTCR. Petsky Prunier LLC and LUMA Partners LLC served as financial advisors and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati served as legal advisor to Simpli.fi. Selling shareholders include Simpli.fi's lead institutional investors Contour Venture Partners and Frontier Capital.

 

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