High Road Capital Partners has acquired Toronto-based Ariad Communications. High Road will combine the operations of Ariad with its platform company Bluespire Marketing. Mike Beckerman, a 20-year marketing veteran and President of Ariad, will serve as CEO of the combined company.
Ariad is a marketing agency specializing in serving Canadian clients with content, digital marketing and consumer activation capabilities. The company serves brands ion the consumer packaged goods, business-to-business, and financial services sectors. Customers include Unilever, Degree, OneTouch, Reactine, Johnson & Johnson, Colliers, Visa, D+H, Vale, PwC, SmartCar, among others. Ariad is headquartered in Toronto with an additional office in Chicago (www.ariad.ca).
Bluespire is a provider of marketing services to healthcare, financial services and senior living companies. The company specializes in multi-channel marketing with a strong emphasis on end-user content and digital media. Bluespire is headquartered in Minneapolis with offices in Hartford, CT and Montvale, NJ (www.bluespiremarketing.com).
“Ariad and Bluespire are experts in strategy, content and technology with subject matter expertise in healthcare and financial services, giving our existing and prospective clients expanded resources to draw from,” said Mr. Beckerman, who invested in the transaction alongside High Road. “The combination of our companies gives us the opportunity to bring Bluespire senior living’s market-leading offering to Canada and Ariad’s award-winning consumer packaged goods expertise to the US.”
“Bluespire and Ariad serve large and growing markets that are often regulated, requiring specific expertise with respect to content creation, marketing outreach, and management of customer data,” said Jeff Goodrich, Partner. Mr. Goodrich led the transaction for High Road. He was supported by Bill Hobbs, Operating Partner; Scott Rubino, Vice President; and James Karle, Associate.
High Road Capital Partners invests in manufacturing, service, or value-added distribution businesses with revenues of $10 million to $100 million and EBITDAs of $3 million to $10 million. High Road has now completed 36 transactions – 13 platform investments, 19 add-on acquisitions and four exits – since its founding in 2007. High Road is based in New York (www.highroadcap.com).
Fifth Third Bank, US Bank and Royal Bank of Canada provided senior debt financing for the Ariad acquisition. Babson Capital Management provided subordinated debt financing and also invested equity in the transaction.
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 7-7-15