The Independents group (Karla Otto, Bureau Betak) sells stake to TowerBrook Capital Partners, FL Entertainment
A new milestone for The Independents group. The company, created in 2017 and specialising in marketing and communication for luxury, designer and premium labels, has announced the arrival of two new shareholders: British/US investment fund TowerBrook Capital Partners and FL Entertainment, a European company that notably owns Banijay and the BetClic Everest Group.
“We have been highly impressed by [The Independents’] history of growth to date, which was made possible by the quality of its people, the strength of its service offering, and a sound consolidation strategy,” said Fahd Elkadiri and Edouard Peugeot, managing directors at TowerBrook, cited in a press release. “The group has been able to differentiate itself and position itself globally as a unique one-stop-shop on the market. We believe there continue to be tremendous growth opportunities for [The Independents], and we are as such very much looking forward to supporting the business in its next phase of development with the full contribution of our global TowerBrook eco-system,” they added.
The Independents, which is targeting a revenue of $450 million in 2023 with its 380 customers, said that the operation has contributed to raising $400 million in financing since the start of the year, between debt financing with BIL, Société Générale, LCL, La Banque Postale and CIC Private Debt, and the investment made by TowerBrook and FL Entertainment. The value of the two new shareholders’ investment was not specified. They have taken over the stake held by Cathay Capital, the investment fund that had backed the creation of The Independents.
The group, which started out with two communication agencies, Karla Otto and K2, now consists of six companies: Bureau Betak and Bureau Future, Karla Otto, K2, The Qode, Lefty, and Prodject, which became part of the group last year. And the group’s scope is set to broaden.
“Driven by an increasingly young globalised clientele that consumes experience and influence in real time, major luxury brands made a genuine strategic shift a few years ago, approaching their campaigns in an increasingly fast and integrated fashion, but without having the necessary tools to support their execution at scale in a way that takes into account the cultural sensitivities of consumers,” said Isabelle Chouvet, CEO and founder of The Independents. “We decided to create the Independents to meet this need, building through successive acquisitions a relevant range of services that is perfectly suited to this new reality. The substantial investment gives us the capacity to further execute our innovative, integrated services worldwide,” she added.
The group currently has offices in Milan, Paris, London, Munich, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Dubai and Riyadh, and said it is keen to double in size by 2025, through a mix of organic growth and new acquisitions.
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