Riordan Lewis & Haden (RLH) has sold its portfolio company, Creative Circle, a specialized staffing agency, to Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity. RLH acquired Creative Circle in 2009 and during its ownership the company achieved a three-fold increase in revenue and an even more rapid rise in EBITDA, entirely through organic growth.
This transaction provided a very favorable financial outcome for RLH’s investors while affording the Creative Circle management team the opportunity to continue their global growth strategy in partnership with a new investor. The sale of Creative Circle is the second liquidity event of 2012 for RLH and the second exit from its RLH Investors II fund.
Creative Circle is a specialized staffing agency representing advertising, marketing, graphic communication, and interactive professionals. Customers include advertising agencies, marketing firms, and enterprise clients. Creative Circle is headquartered in Los Angeles and operates in 12 states through 14 offices nationwide (www.creativecircle.com).
Riordan, Lewis & Haden invests in high growth, lower middle market companies. Sectors of interest include business services, healthcare, and government services. The firm currently manages over $600 million of assets and is actively seeking new portfolio companies. Riordan, Lewis & Haden is based in Los Angeles, CA (www.rlhequity.com).
Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity, part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, makes private equity and equity-related investments of $75 million to $150 million in companies with enterprise values of $100 million to $1 billion. To date, Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity and its affiliated funds have invested over $9 billion of equity across a spectrum of industries. The firm is based in New York (www.morganstanley.com/privateequity).
This transaction represents the twelfth investment for Morgan Stanley Capital Partners V, the most recent fund raised by Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity, and the fourth in the business services sector.
“Creative Circle is the premier creative staffing agency in North America. The rapid expansion of interactive and digital media has created a tremendous demand for highly qualified creative talent as well as a unique opportunity for Creative Circle to build on its strong record of business growth,” said Aaron Sack, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity.
© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 10-5-12