Riverside-backed Sage seals $180m communications merger

Sage Holdings, backed by global mid-market buyout firm The Riverside Company, has begun its attempts to consolidate the communications industry.

The Riverside Company-backed Sage Holdings has bought public relations company M:Communications and proxy solicitation company D.F. King for $180 million (€123.9 million), according to a statement.

Sage Holdings was set up in June 2007, with backing from The Riverside Company, to consolidate the communications industry with approximately $200 million to invest.

M: Communications and D.F. King will be the cornerstones of Sage, the company’s chief executive Oliver Niedermaier said.
M: Communications was founded in 2002 and it provides corporate communications and financial public relations.

D.F. King is an international, full-service proxy solicitation firm, providing shareholder analyses, vote projections as well as proxy solicitation for annual and special meetings of stockholders.

The communications industry has provided occasional triumphs for private equity, notably Advent International’s sale in 2006 of PR firm Financial Dynamics for $260 million to trade buyer FTI Consulting, the highest amount ever paid for a PR company making Advent a five times return.