Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group explores liquidity options

  • Mark Penn formed Stagwell in 2015
  • Raised an initial $250 mln
  • Firm explores options for fresh capital injection

Stagwell Group, launched by former Clinton adviser Mark Penn, is exploring a liquidity process to cash out seed investors and raise fresh capital for investments, two people with knowledge of the firm said.

Penn, who worked on various campaigns for President Bill Clinton, formed Stagwell in 2015 to invest in marketing businesses.

The firm raised an initial $250 million with the ability to use leverage to make up to $750 million in acquisitions.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, Stagwell managed about $591.5 million in discretionary assets, according to the firm’s Form ADV. 

Mercury Capital Advisors is working on the process, sources said.

It’s unclear how far along the process is. No one from Stagwell responded to a request for comment.

Stagwell made numerous investments, including in consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker; global marketing firm PMX Agency; Wyecomm, a public relations shop; creative digital agency Code and Theory; healthcare and consumer marketing firm Scout; Forward3D Group, a global performance marketing agency; Harris Poll; movie marketing research firm National Research Group; and ReputationDefender, which works with individuals and small businesses to protect their digital privacy.

Stagwell is one of several independent sponsors in market exploring liquidity processes.

Earlier this week, Buyouts reported that Detroit billionaire Dan Gilbert’s independent sponsor, Rockbridge Growth Equity, was exploring a process to bundle portfolio companies into a single fund, enabling original investors to cash out and get new capital for investments.

Lazard is working on the Rockbridge process, sources said.

And earlier this year, independent sponsor Argonne Capital Group bundled six portfolio companies into a new fund, Argonne Capital Partners I.

Action Item: Check out Stagwell’s Form ADV here: