DEPT owner Carlyle taps Morgan Stanley and Jefferies to explore 2023 sale – sources

Breaking News 25 November

DEPT owner Carlyle taps Morgan Stanley and Jefferies to explore 2023 sale – sources

The Carlyle Group [NASDAQ:CG] is exploring a sale of global digital agency DEPT for next year, three sources familiar with the situation said. 

The US private equity fund has asked Morgan Stanley and Jefferies to consider exit options for the Amsterdam-headquartered company, which provides technology and marketing services for a host of brands worldwide, the sources said.

Carlyle could launch a process as early as Q1 2023, although no final decision has been made on timing and any sale will depend on market conditions next year, one of the sources said.

DEPT generates EBITDA in the region of EUR 100m for FY22, the three sources and another source familiar with the situation said. 

The company, which generated EBITDA of around EUR 25m before Carlyle acquired it from Waterland Private Equity in 2019, has grown significantly under the sponsor’s ownership through a slate of acquisitions, one of the sources said. 

Only this year, DEPT acquired data science and software engineering agency Raybeam in January and 3Q Digital, a US based performance and digital marketing agency it bought from PSP Capital and Erie Street Capital in May. It also acquired Dogstudio, a US-based creative studio in May and Australian-based digital agency Two Bulls in September.

DEPT’s sale is expected to draw mostly sponsor interest, especially amongst those that already own complementary assets in the space, one of the sources said. 

Founded in 2015, the company works with brands including Google [NASDAQ: GOOGL], Audi, Twitch, Patagonia and eBay [NASDAQ: EBAY] and has a team of over 2,500 employees across 30 locations globally. 

Representatives for Carlyle, DEPT, Morgan Stanley and Jefferies declined to comment.

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