H.I.G. Growth Partners Acquires Escalate Media and Womensforum.com

H.I.G. Growth Partners Acquires Escalate Media and Womensforum.com

H.I.G. Growth Partners, the growth capital investment affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, has announced that its newly-formed portfolio company, Escalate Media Holdings, has completed the acquisition of womensforum.com and Escalate Media.

Womensforum.com and Escalate are online advertising companies encompassing a number of owned and operated websites, an online advertising network and an affiliate network. As part of the investment, John Kim and Nik Shah from H.I.G. Growth Partners will join Escalate Media’s Board of Directors. Escalate Media Holdings is based in Chicago, IL.

“Escalate and womensforum.com are market leaders, bringing tremendous value to advertisers and consumers in one of the largest online populations,” said John Kim, Managing Director for H.I.G. Growth Partners. “The depth of the companies’ content and relationships gives Escalate Media a unique ability to deliver customized solutions to advertisers and strengthens the quality of the offering for consumers. We are pleased to partner with an outstanding senior leadership team and look forward to the new company’s continued growth.”

Womensforum.com is an online destination and network of content for women, providing resources for its millions of unique monthly visitors. The company’s editorial and video content verticals include food, parenting, health, living, style and entertainment. In addition to womensforum.com, other sites in the womensforum.com network include: www.copykat.com, www.poshmom.com, andwww.educationworld.com. Womensforum.com is based in Chicago, IL (www.womensforum.com).

“As a pioneer in the online women’s category, it’s been rewarding to be a part of the growth and evolution over the past 16 years. We are excited about our partnership with H.I.G., which will help enable us to continue to expand in the ever-changing landscape that is the women’s online market,” said Jodi Luber, President and Co-Founder of womensforum.com.

Escalate Media creates and manages online social networks and communities. The company’s vertical communities are focused on a range of subjects, including shopping and savings, home and gardening, do-it-yourself and parenting. In addition, Escalate manages an affiliated advertising network where brands and targeted service providers can engage with millions of families. Escalate Media has a combined reach of over 25 million targeted users making it a leader in its vertical. Advertising customers include General Mills, Home Depot and Sara Lee, among others. The company is based in Houston (www.escalatemedia.com).

“The online advertising market continues to grow across all segments and this investment from H.I.G. will enable us to more aggressively pursue opportunities in the marketplace, positioning us for further success,” said Mark Kaufman, CEO of Escalate Media. “We plan to expand our content offering and provide more engaging resources for our expanding base of users allowing for more meaningful ways for marketers to interact with them. Womensforum.com has been a leading provider of online women’s content for over 16 years and this strategic alliance with Escalate will help position the combined entity for its next stage of growth.”

H.I.G. Growth Partners is the dedicated growth capital investment affiliate of H.I.G. Capital. With $500 million of committed capital, Growth Partners seeks to make both majority and minority equity investments ranging from $5 million to $30 million in strong, growth-oriented businesses with between $10 million and $100 million in revenues. H.I.G. Growth Partners considers investments across all industries, but focuses on certain high-growth sectors where the team has extensive in-house expertise such as healthcare, technology, internet and media, consumer products and technology-enabled financial and business services (www.higgrowth.com).

© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 10-18-12

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