Carlyle backs management buyout of advertising company

The Mill, a UK advertising visual effects company, has been bought by The Carlyle Group and the management team for an undisclosed sum, thought to be more than £50m.

The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm, has led a management buyout of The Mill, an international advertising company, from 3i.

The deal, which is thought to be worth more than £50 million (€75.7 million), closed on Friday.  The Mill’s management team, led by chief executive Robin Sheffield, has taken a significant minority stake, rolling its investment over from the buyout backed by 3i in 2001.

The acquisition was made through Carlyle’s €220 million technology fund, Carlyle Europe Technology Partners, which targets technology, media and telecoms companies. The deal is the seventh investment from the fund, which was launched in May 2006, and which is more than 75% invested.

Founded in 1990, The Mill is the first digital effects agency with local presence in three global locations – London, New York and Los Angeles. It owns Beam.TV, a global distribution business which broadcasts around 50 percent of all television commercials in the UK.

Established in 1987, The Carlyle Group manages $46.9 billion (€36.3 billion) through 46 funds.