Global investment firm The Carlyle Group, today announces that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Dept, a leading independent digital agency based in Amsterdam. This investment will enable Dept to continue to accelerate its growth in the fast-paced digital agency sector.
Named the second fastest-growing large agency in the world by Adweek in 2019, Dept delivers end-to-end digital experiences for brands and businesses worldwide such as Bose, Tesla, Samsung, Formula E, Indigo and Beiersdorf. Founded in Amsterdam in 2015, the Dept team has grown from 150 people in The Netherlands to more than 1,500 people in thirteen countries across Europe and the Americas. During this period 2015-2019, Dept’s revenue rose tenfold to over 150 million Euros.
Dimi Albers, CEO of Dept, said: “Over the past four and a half years, we have built Dept on the insight that brands and businesses are in need of a new kind of agency. One that brings together creativity, technology and data in integrated teams for its clients. An agency with simple structures, speed, clarity, and personal contact. With the help of Carlyle, we can continue to accelerate our journey to become a globally recognised powerhouse, while remaining firmly in charge of our own culture, brand and way of working. Personally, I am super proud that our founders, the full executive board and local leadership teams are all committed to this new partnership. We want to thank our current investor Waterland Private Equity for being a great partner over the past four and a half years and are looking forward to the future”
Michael Wand, managing director and co-head of the CETP investment advisory team at The Carlyle Group, said: “Digital transformation is a growing strategic issue for all businesses, and Dept is well-placed to support client needs in this space by providing an integrated one-stop-shop service which combines creativity, technology and data. Dept has the hallmarks we look for in our investments – above-market growth in a strategic sector, a partnership with a strong and high-energy leadership team, and multiple levers for growth, including international development. We see significant, long-term potential to build on what Dept has accomplished to date and look forward to working together.”
For this transaction, JEGI | CLARITY acted as sole corporate finance adviser to the shareholders of Dept.
Equity for the investment comes from Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP) IV, a fund that invests in technology and media-focused SMEs in Europe and the US. The proposed transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the beginning of 2020. Financial details were not disclosed.