Published: London, November 13, 2020
BC Partners, a leading international investment firm, has announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire the leading European braintainment business, Keesing Media Group (“Keesing”) from Ergon Capital and Mediahuis.
Founded in the Netherlands over 100 years ago, Keesing has a presence in over 40 countries and is already the largest puzzle content developer in Europe. It owns a number of market-leading brands and is also in the process of releasing new digital offerings which will allow it to leverage its existing content to new audiences.
BC Partners is confident that Keesing is well positioned to benefit from the increased focus on brain training and mental wellbeing. This investment will support ambitious growth plans for the Company, which includes digital expansion as well as organic growth initiatives in its existing countries (such as France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK), as well as ongoing consolidation of the European market and entry into new continents.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and it is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said, “Keesing has many of the characteristics that we typically look for in our investments. It is the clear market leader in a sector with proven resilience, with a strong management team and multiple opportunities for growth. We are therefore looking forward to partnering with the Keesing team to utilise the business’ unique content and proprietary technology to extend its leadership in brain health.”
Pieter Lambrecht, Partner at Ergon Capital added: “It has been a privilege for us and our partner Mediahuis to support Philip Alberdingk Thijm and the outstanding Keesing team over the past years in their extraordinary growth story, thereby realizing 9 add-on acquisitions and strengthening the strategic focus on brain health. We are convinced that Keesing will succeed in its further global and digital expansion and believe BC Partners is an excellent partner for the company’s next phase of growth.”
Philip Alberdingk Thijm, CEO of Keesing concluded: “We are very grateful and happy with the tremendous support we have had from the Ergon team since our buy-out from the Telegraaf Media Group in 2017. Today a new chapter begins with BC Partners. This next phase in our transformational journey will allow us to further fuel our ambition to consolidate our international print markets as well as expand our digital footprint across the world”.
Quore acted as financial advisor to BC Partners. Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to BC Partners.
ING and DC Advisory acted as financial advisors, and Baker McKenzie as legal counsel, to the sellers.