PE-Backed Match Marketing Closes Fifth Acquisition

Match Marketing Group, a Toronto-based company which provides integrated shopping marketing solutions, bought Marketing Drive LLC, a shopper marketing agency in Norwalk, Connecticut, and its digital subsidiary Weld Media, from River North Group. The acquisition is Match Marketing’s fifth in the last twelve months. Match Marketing is a portfolio company of  Beringer Capital, a Canadian private equity firm focused on the marketing services and specialty media industry.

PRESS RELEASE

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Match Marketing Group acquires Marketing Drive

Match, which is backed by a private equity firm, Beringer Capital, also based in Toronto, is acquiring Marketing Drive, a shopper marketing agency in Norwalk, Conn., with the Weld Media division of Marketing Drive, which has a digital focus.

Match is making the acquisition from the River North Group in Chicago; financial terms are not being disclosed.

The acquisition of Marketing Drive and Weld is the fifth deal in the last 12 months for Match; others included agencies like the Action Marketing Group and Ignite Activation. Like those, Marketing Drive and Weld will be absorbed into Match, which seeks to offer marketers a so-called end-to-end solution – that is, a complete, integrated suite of services in a one-stop-shopping way.

The formation of Match and the deals it is making “came out of talking to our friends, senior clients, C.E.O.s and C.M.O.s,” said Perry Miele, chairman of Match and Beringer, who beefed about how, “when it came to shopper marketing and consumer engagement, they had to deal with five or six agencies that handle analytics, strategy, experiential marketing, events and merchandising.”
According to Michael Harris, president at Marketing Drive, being part of “an end-to-end solution was very attractive to us.”

Mr. Harris will become president of what will be known, for the time being, as Match Marketing Drive. Brett Farren, president and chief executive at Match, said the name would probably later become Match Drive, echoing how the Action Marketing Group became Match Action.

Mr. Harris and Mr. Farren said that all the 160 employees of Marketing Drive and Weld would join Match. Marketing Drive and Weld also have offices in Boston, Chicago and Bentonville, Ark.

Clients of Marketing Drive include Absolut vodka, Dunkin’ Donuts, Exxon Mobil, Philips and Welch’s. Clients of Weld include CVS, Dannon and Mars. Mars is also a client of Match, along with, among others, Adidas, Ford Motor, Progressive, Samsung and Yum Brands.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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