MDC Partners, Stagwell Media Reach Agreement To Merge
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MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: MDCA) and Stagwell Media LP have entered into a definitive transaction agreement to combine their respective businesses, uniting the award-winning talent of MDC with the advanced technology platform of Stagwell. Together, the companies will significantly expand their range of best-in-class capabilities, depth of expertise, and geographic footprint to deliver expanded value to clients, and meaningfully accelerate the combined company’s growth. 

MDC Partners is known for its innovative advertising, public relations, branding, digital, social and event marketing agency partners, which are responsible for some of the most memorable and effective campaigns for the world’s most respected brands. By leveraging technology, data analytics, insights and strategic consulting solutions, MDC Partners drives creative excellence, business growth and measurable return on marketing investment for over 1,700 clients worldwide. Among the many varied partner agencies in the MDC family are 72andSunny, Activista, Anomaly, CPB, Cole McVoy, Doner, Forsman & Bodenfors, Laird+Partners, Vitro, and Yamamoto.

The Stagwell Group is billed as being the first and only independent, digital-first, and fully-integrated organization of size and scale servicing brands across the continuum of marketing services. Stagwell’s high growth brands include experts in four categories: digital transformation and marketing, research and insights, marketing communications, and content and media. Stagwell’s lineup of shops includes Wolfgang, Code and Theory, Sloane and Co., and Targeted Victory.

The combined company will provide the balance of integrated solutions that modern marketers need to succeed, including creativity and communications, scaled media and data capabilities, superior consumer insights, technology development and innovation, and digital transformation.   With over 8,600 employees across 23 countries, the combined company will be ideally suited to lead marketers into the future, with deepened expertise in digital services, and more than tripling high-growth digital offerings to 32% of the combined business. With a track record of collaboration across disciplines bringing the right technology solutions to its blue-chip clients’ business and marketing challenges, the combined company’s network also brings experience in building and developing its own proprietary digital products to solve for gaps in the marketing ecosystem, which together could generate $90-$150 million annual top-line benefit over time.

Mark Penn, current CEO and chairman of MDC and managing partner of Stagwell, will continue as CEO and chairman of the combined company. The management team for the combined company will consist of existing executives from both MDC and Stagwell.

“This is a new day for MDC and Stagwell,” stated Penn. “Together, they unleash precisely the right talent and technology to create a transformative marketing services company offering scaled creative performance. MDC is celebrated for bringing award-winning creative firepower to the world’s leading and most ambitious companies, and Stagwell has been built with deep and sophisticated technology at its core. Unencumbered by legacy structures or assets, the combined company will have the integrated, modern offerings marketers deserve, and the resources to invest meaningfully in our global capabilities, our talent, and our clients’ future.”

The board of directors of the combined company will consist of nine members, including Penn and MDC Partners’ Bradley Gross. Three independent directors on the board will continue as directors in the combined company and the combined company shall cause such directors to be nominated at the company’s next two annual meetings; Stagwell will be entitled to designate the other four directors to serve on the board.

The combined company will remain headquartered in New York, and will maintain a significant presence in Washington D.C. The deal is expected to be finalized during the first half of 2021.


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