Acquisition Provides Hearst with Large-Scale Foundation
and Expertise in Digital Marketing
San Francisco, CA and Greenwich, CT, June 9, 2010 – Generation Partners, a $340 million private investment firm, announced the sale of iCrossing, one of the largest independent digital marketing services providers in the world, to Hearst Corporation. Generation Partners has been an investor in iCrossing since 2005. The closing is subject to regulatory review as well as other customary conditions. Financial details were not disclosed, as both companies are private.
“iCrossing has been a tremendously successful investment for Generation,” said John Hawkins, Managing Partner of Generation Partners. “It is one of several which we made as part of our proactive initiative in the online advertising and media industries. We targeted this space in 2002 because we believed it would grow rapidly as more media consumption and advertising dollars moved online,” he added. “iCrossing has clearly taken full advantage of these strong trends, growing revenue over 5x during the course of our five-year investment," said Louis Marino, Vice President at Generation. He further added, “Don Scales and his team have successfully built iCrossing into a leading independent, global interactive advertising agency and we are confident that this success will continue under the Hearst umbrella.”
iCrossing offers its global clients a broad range of services, including search engine optimization, paid search management, web development, mobile and social marketing, and analytics. Customers include Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, FedEx, Bank of America, General Motors, Chevron, Office Depot, Pfizer, Virgin, Avaya, Hilton, Marriott, and Ritz Carlton. iCrossing accolades include being named “Top Search Marketing Agency” by Advertising Age in 2008 and 2009, “Top Honors for Both Paid Search and Search Engine Optimization Current Offering” by Forrester in 2009, “Search Agency of the Year” by OMMA Magazine in 2009, and numerous campaign-specific awards. In 2008, iCrossing was named one of the “Fastest Growing Private Companies in America” by Inc. 500.
"Aligning with Hearst means a sharing of consumer insights, content, channel expertise and technology that will result in totally new approaches to both digital and integrated marketing for advertisers," commented Don Scales, President and CEO of iCrossing. "iCrossing has always been about staying in front of the market. Hearst, with its leadership in brand building, content creation and distribution is the perfect partner to fuel our continued growth."
About Generation Partners
Generation Partners is a private equity firm with $340 million of capital under management with offices in Greenwich, CT and San Francisco, CA. Generation provides equity capital to growth companies and pursues both majority and minority investments. Generation focuses on recurring revenue service businesses with strong secular growth drivers and specializes in professionalizing businesses to break through the $100 million mark and beyond. Over the past 23 years, the firm’s principals have invested in more than 50 companies including: Demand Media, Post University, ShopWiki, Sterling Infosystems, Virtual Radiologic, MedVance Institute, Promatory, HotJobs, thePlatform for Media, Agility Recovery Solutions, High End Systems, and many others. For more information, please visit www.generation.com.
iCrossing is a global digital marketing agency that combines talent and technology to help world-class brands find and connect with their customers. The company blends best-in-class digital marketing services - including paid search, search engine optimization, Web development, social media, mobile, research and analytics - to create integrated digital marketing programs that engage consumers and drive ROI. iCrossing's client base includes such recognized brands as Epson America, Toyota, Travelocity and 40 Fortune 500 companies, including The Coca-Cola Company and Office Depot. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., the company has 550 employees in 12 offices in the U.S. and Europe. For more information, please visit www.icrossing.com.
Hearst Corporation is one of the nation's largest diversified media and marketing companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 38 weekly newspapers, including: the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; nearly 200 magazines around the world, including: Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including: Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN, as well as business publishing, including a minority joint venture interest in Fitch Ratings; Internet and marketing services businesses, television production, newspaper features distribution and real estate. For more information, please visit www.hearst.com.