Cision, a portfolio company of GTCR and a provider of media information to public relations professionals, has signed an agreement to acquire PR Newswire from publicly traded UBM. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2016.
PR Newswire (PRN) is a provider of public relations and investor relations communications. The company connects more than 30,000 customers to their target audiences through a distribution network that is considered by many to be the largest in the world. Customers of PRN include Fortune 2000 multinationals, public relations agencies, small businesses and government entities. PR Newswire was founded in 1954 and was acquired by Western Union in 1971. In 1982 the company was purchased by UBM. The largest competitor to PRN is Business Wire, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. PRN is headquartered in New York (www.prnewswire.com).
“PRN and Cision possess complementary capabilities that provide a unique opportunity to redefine public relations workflow when deployed together,” said Mark Anderson, Managing Director at GTCR. “This is an exciting acquisition for Cision and one that we have been pursuing for some time.”
Cision was acquired by GTCR in February 2014. The company is a subscription and cloud-based provider of public relations and marketing software that is used by public relations and corporate communications professionals to manage public relations campaigns, including content distribution, media monitoring and media analysis. Cision has approximately 16,000 annual subscription customers spread across a variety of industries. The company is headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in Canada, UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Finland and China (www.cision.com).
“The addition of PR Newswire underscores GTCR’s commitment to technology investment and strengthens Cision’s communications and social software platform,” said Cision CEO Peter Granat.
GTCR pioneered the investment strategy of identifying and partnering with executives to acquire and build companies through a combination of acquisitions and internal growth. The firm currently has nearly $11 billion in assets under management. Since its inception in 1980, GTCR has invested more than $12 billion in over 200 companies. The firm is based in Chicago (www.gtcr.com).
UBM (LSE:UBM) provides live media and business-to-business communications, marketing services and data collection. The company primarily serves the technology, healthcare, trade and transport, ingredients and fashion industries. UBM was founded in 1918 and is headquartered in London (www.ubm.com).
Deutsche Bank Securities, Barclays and RBC Capital Markets are providing debt financing to Cision in support of this acquisition.
© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 12-16-15