HH Global, the marketing execution giant which is backing Blueberry Wave’s international expansion, has secured a £100m war chest to develop its data and digital multichannel marketing offering through further acquisitions.
The deal has been struck with Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and is still subject to antitrust approvals, but is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020. Blackstone has more than $554bn (£422bn) in assets under management.
It follows HH Global’s investment in Blueberry Wave’s parent company, Veriteva, which was signed in February this year. HH Global effectively took over the stake of Veriteva co-founder Rick Taylor, who stepped down, with business partner Nick Dixon becoming CEO of both Veriteva and Blueberry Wave.
As part of the deal, Dixon was also appointed to the executive board of HH Global, while HH Global chief executive Robert MacMillan and chief financial officer Edward Parsons joined the boards of Veriteva and Blueberry Wave. Since then, Blueberry Wave has opened international offices in San Francisco and Hong Kong.
The move has seen HH Global and Blueberry Wave teams working much more closely, especially on marketing their joint proposition. HH Global can tap into Blueberry Wave’s data and analytics expertise, while the latter now has access to creative execution, print procurement and tech capabilities.
To cement this “special relationship”, former Equimedia, DMS and Amaze One chief Neil Evans has joined the group, taking on the role of business growth director at both HH Global and Blueberry Wave.
MacMillan said that the Blackstone deal would fund further expansion of this relationship. He said: “We look forward to our strategic partnership with the Blackstone team and are excited about reaching new milestones as we embark on this next stage of our journey.
“Blackstone’s equity investment and extensive experience will enable our committed leadership team to accelerate growth in our core business, broaden our service offering and pursue expansion opportunities globally. The investment allows us to also significantly grow our newly developed data and digital multi-channel marketing offering with a global buy and build strategy.”
Blackstone managing director Raphael de Botton added: “The company is one of the few truly global operators in the market, which we believe is a strong differentiator to capture the exciting growth ahead of us. We look forward to supporting HH Global’s impressive growth trajectory, both organically and through M&A.”
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