RLJ Equity Partners, LLC, an affiliate of The RLJ Companies, today announced its acquisition of MarketCast, LLC, a premier provider of strategic insights and analysis to marketers and researchers in the global entertainment industry. RLJ Equity Partners, in alliance with GE Asset Management, acquired MarketCast from Shamrock Capital Advisors, a leading media, communications, and entertainment private equity firm based in Los Angeles.
JEGI CLARITY (www.jegiclarity.com), the leading independent investment bank for the global media, information, marketing and technology sectors, headquartered in New York, NY, represented MarketCast in this transaction and acted as its exclusive financial advisor.
MarketCast works in collaboration with clients across the entertainment spectrum to test and optimize their content, marketing, and distribution strategies. The company maintains long-standing client relationships with all of the major motion picture studios and production companies, as well as a growing number of broadcast, cable, and OTT programmers and networks. Core services, applied worldwide, include testing of marketing materials and messaging, as well as strategic research and advisory services related to market positioning, branding, franchise extensions, and sequel development.
“MarketCast is globally recognized as a premier entertainment research firm and today’s acquisition by RLJ Equity Partners is an opportunity to invest alongside an experienced team in the growing U.S. entertainment industry,” said Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Chairman of RLJ Equity Partners. “With its comprehensive audience engagement expertise and full-scale data analytics, MarketCast is uniquely qualified to provide a valuable service to motion picture studios to help grow their audience attendance and enjoyment, both domestic and foreign.”
“MarketCast is a leader in its field, with incredibly loyal, blue-chip customers and a tenured team of committed entertainment marketing experts and analysts,” said Jerry L. Johnson, Managing Director of RLJ Equity Partners. “We are excited to form this strategic alliance with MarketCast management to capitalize on the company’s ongoing opportunities for expansion via organic growth and acquisitions.”
“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for MarketCast,” said Henry Shapiro, CEO of MarketCast. “RLJ Equity Partners, with its vast global network and long-standing experience in the entertainment business, is the perfect partner for us as we continue to invest in new products and services, and in expanding our footprint into new and emerging forms of entertainment distribution and marketing.”
“Partnering with the MarketCast team to carve out the business and establish it as a standalone entity was an important chapter in the company’s history,” commented Will Wynperle, Partner at Shamrock Capital Advisors. “We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with MarketCast during this critical phase of its growth.”
RLJ Equity Partners and GE Asset Management were joined in the transaction by Madison Capital Funding, RLJ Credit Management, LLC, and Brookside Mezzanine.
JEGI CLARITY helped us conceptualize and present the company to market in an innovative way that resulted in an outstanding outcome for all parties. The JEGI CLARITY bankers ran the process with integrity and class; their remarkable attention to detail and timeline kept us on task and on schedule from start to finish.
Henry Shapiro, CEO, MarketCast