Stagwell Groups buys majority of Code and Theory

The Stagwell Group said Tuesday that it has acquired a majority stake in Code and Theory. Financial terms weren’t announced. New York-based Code and Theory is a creative digital agency. AdMedia Partners Inc advised Code and Theory.


WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Stagwell Group ( today announced its fund, Stagwell Media LLC, has acquired a majority stake in Code and Theory, a leading creative digital agency headquartered in New York City with offices in Atlanta, London, San Francisco, and Manila, the Philippines.
The agency was founded in 2001 by Dan Gardner and Brandon Ralph and creates products, content and campaigns for leading companies across physical and digital worlds. Code and Theory is known for redefining media platforms for clients like Bloomberg, theLos Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Vogue and Mashable, and enabling brands like Maybelline New York and BURGER KING® to connect with new and existing consumers.
“Digital is a critical and core part of our strategy. Few firms have the state-of-the art experience that Code and Theory brings to the table in a digital space,” said Mark Penn, Managing Partner and President of The Stagwell Group, LLC. “Under Dan and Brandon’s leadership, we are excited about Code and Theory’s future as part of our digital marketing services portfolio of companies.”
With over three hundred professionals around the world, Code and Theory has been recognized as a leading international firm. In 2014, Code and Theory was recognized by Advertising Age as an “Agency to Watch” and, in 2015, the agency was listed by Fast Company as one of the world’s “Most Innovative Companies.”
“We are a company full of creative people, not traditional businesspeople, and we believe Stagwell Group is the right partner as we continue to grow our firm and do great work for our clients,” said Dan Gardner, co-founder.
“Code and Theory is very proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team,” said Brandon Ralph, co-founder. “We’re looking forward to working with Stagwell to take our company to the next level.”
The Stagwell Group LLC is a registered investment advisory company formed by Mark Penn who serves as the Managing Partner of Stagwell Media LLC, a private equity fund. This is Stagwell’s third acquisition in the marketing services industry, joining strategic communications firm SKDKnickerbocker and entertainment research firm National Research Group (NRG). The fund previously announced it has raised $250 million in capital and may leverage that to make up to $750 million in acquisitions.
Code and Theory will continue to operate independently within Stagwell Group LLC as a stand-alone agency run by the current management team. Co-founders Dan Gardner and Brandon Ralph continue to hold minority ownership stake. Code and Theory was represented by AdMedia Partners, Inc.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.