Exponent sells Gorkana in £200m deal

The media monitoring business was acquired by US rival Cision

Exponent Private Equity, the London-based mid-market buyout firm, has sold Gorkana Group to Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR for around £200 million, according to a source close to the deal.

GTCR owns Cision, a provider of public relations, social software and insight services headquartered in Chicago. Last week Cision merged with public relations software company Vocus, which was acquired by a GTCR affiliate in May. The acquisition of Gorkana will give the pair “a significant foothold in Europe, together with a high-quality global enterprise client base,” DC Advisory said. “The enlarged group is well placed to become the undisputed global provider of PR data, media intelligence and analysis.”

Exponent created Gorkana Group – a UK-based media intelligence and data insights service provider – through the acquisition of three companies. In 2006 the firm acquired Durrants, the press cuttings business, with capital from Fund I, a 2004-vintage £400 million vehicle. The firm subsequently acquired Metrica, a measurement and media analysis business, and Gorkana in 2009 and 2010 respectively. According to Exponent’s website it invested £82 million in the group. The firm is reported to have paid £25 million for Gorkana.

Exponent could not be reached for comment at press time.

“Our acquisition of Gorkana is the next step toward achieving Cision’s mission to be a global leader in PR and social software with the most advanced and comprehensive suite of solutions and services in the market,” Cision chief executive officer Peter Granat said in a statement.

Gorkana CEO Jeremy Thompson will join the Cision executive management team as EMEA managing director, according to Cision. Gorkana will retain its brand after acquisition, and customers will continue to have access to the My Gorkana portal and services.

Earlier this month PEI reported that Exponent was nearing a first close for its third buyout fund on around £500 million. The firm is targeting £800 million for the vehicle, with a hard-cap of £1 billion.

DC Advisory acted as financial advisor to both Gorkana and Exponent on the sale.