Kohlberg & Comapny to buy MarketCast

Kohlberg & Company has agreed to acquire MarketCast, a provider of strategic insights and data analytics to marketers and researchers in the entertainment industry. The sellers are RLJ Equity Partners LLC and State Street Global Advisors. No financial terms were disclosed. Lazard Middle Market provided financial advice to MarketCast on the transaction.


LOS ANGELES, CA. / NEW YORK, N.Y. October 25, 2016// MarketCast, LLC (“MarketCast,” or the “Company”), the leading provider of strategic insights and data analytics to marketers and researchers in the global entertainment industry, and Kohlberg & Company LLC (“Kohlberg”), a leading private equity firm headquartered in New York, today announced that Kohlberg has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the ownership interest in MarketCast held by RLJ Equity Partners, LLC (“RLJ”) and State Street Global Advisors.

MarketCast works in collaboration with clients across the entertainment spectrum to test and optimize their content, marketing, and distribution strategies. The Company maintains long-standing relationships with all of the major motion picture studios, as well as the leading broadcast, cable, and over-the-top (“OTT”) programmers and networks. Core services, applied worldwide, include testing of marketing materials and messaging as well as strategic research and advisory services related to market positioning, branding, franchise extensions, and sequel development.

“The MarketCast management team is highly enthusiastic about this new chapter for the Company,” said Henry P. Shapiro, CEO of MarketCast. “Kohlberg has a 30-year proven track record of successfully investing in leading service-based businesses with a focus toward long-term growth. Kohlberg represents a strongly capitalized partner that will enable MarketCast to continue to invest in new products and services, and in expanding our footprint into new and emerging forms of entertainment content, distribution, and marketing, worldwide.”

“Through its broad suite of innovative, data-driven products and services, scalable, worldwide infrastructure, and absolute dedication to exceeding customer expectations, MarketCast is uniquely positioned to serve the growing demands of the global entertainment marketplace,” commented Ahmed I. Wahla, a Kohlberg Partner. “We see tremendous growth opportunities for MarketCast, both organically and through strategic acquisition, and look forward to partnering with management in the next phase of the Company’s development.”

“We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the MarketCast team, and assist the Company through a period of rapid expansion and success. We are confident that the Company will continue its growth trajectory in partnership with Kohlberg,” commented Jerry Johnson, a Managing Director at RLJ.

The transaction is expected to close in November 2016. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Lazard Middle Market served as financial advisor to MarketCast. DLA Piper LLP and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP served as legal counsel to MarketCast and its management team. Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to Kohlberg.

About MarketCast
Based in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, Boston, and London, MarketCast is a leading provider of marketing research services and data analytics for the global entertainment industry. Through a variety of services backed by rigorously scientific quantitative and qualitative research methods, MarketCast works in collaboration with marketers and researchers across the entertainment spectrum in the development and execution of their marketing strategies, from early concept exploration through distribution. MarketCast services are available worldwide, and include materials testing (trailers, TV spots, print ads, etc.), concept and positioning studies, exit polls, recruited audience screenings, tracking studies, and focus groups, as well as a host of custom offerings including brand/franchise studies, post-release studies, and attitudes and usage studies. In August 2015, MarketCast completed the acquisition of Insight Strategy Group, a leading New York-based research and strategy agency that leverages deep expertise anchored in social sciences to fuel brand growth, new product introductions, and service and content innovation. A go-to-partner for media and entertainment clients, Insight Strategy Group also has established industry practices in lifestyle, consumer goods, retail, and services businesses, as well as a pre-eminent youth practice. For more information, visit www.mcast.com and www.insightstrategygroup.com.

About Kohlberg & Company
Kohlberg & Company is a leading private equity firm headquartered in New York. Since its inception in 1987, Kohlberg has organized seven private equity funds, through which it has raised over $5 billion of committed equity capital. Over its 30-year history, Kohlberg has completed 69 platform investments and over 150 add-on acquisitions, with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $10 billion. For more information, please visit www.kohlberg.com.