Bahrain’s Investcorp, an asset manager that counts Mubadala Investment Company as its biggest shareholder, is investing $100 million to buy a majority stake in SEC Newgate, an Italy-based global strategic communications and advocacy group, to grow its global portfolio.
The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory and other closing conditions, values SEC Newgate more than $250 million, Investcorp said in a statement on Monday.
SEC Newgate’s other shareholders will roll over 100 per cent of their equity investment as part of the transaction.
Nicola Ferraris, Investcorp’s managing director, will join the board of SEC Newgate. The deal is expected to close between the third and fourth quarters of 2023.
“SEC Newgate aligns with our investment approach to back strong, committed management teams operating differentiated businesses in growing sectors,” Yusef Al Yusef, Investcorp's head of private wealth, said.
“We will use our resources to support SEC Newgate’s geographic expansion, growth through acquisitions and greenfield developments."
SEC Newgate, headquartered in Milan, operates through 50 offices located in 22 countries and advises more than 1,500 companies.
After delisting from the London Stock Exchange in March 2022, SEC Newgate has grown rapidly and expanded in the US, Central and South America through transformational acquisitions. It employs 1,200 people globally.
The new investment “will accelerate our transformation and fuel our development strategy to achieve global leadership in corporate communications and public affairs,” Fiorenzo Tagliabue, who will remain the chief executive of SEC Newgate, said.
The investment in SEC Newgate follows Investcorp's successful previous investments in other Italian-headquartered companies, such as Gucci, Riva and Dainese. The company's current portfolio of Italian companies includes CloudCare, Vivaticket, Corneliani and HWG/Sababa Security.
Since 2012, Investcorp has invested more than €1.8 billion ($1.95 billion) in companies across Europe.
Investcorp's other notable investments in people-based professional services and communications businesses include management consultants AlixPartners, strategic communicatins advisor ICR, workforce management pioneer PRO Unlimited (now Magnit), technology consulting firm Resultant, talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency and business advisory firm CrossCountry.
Set up in 1982, Investcorp has grown to become one of the leading alternative asset management companies in the region. It oversees $50 billion in assets, including those managed by third parties, and has 14 offices in the US, Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia, including India, China, Japan and Singapore.
The company announced a number of new deals recently, acquiring a controlling stake in China-based Shandong Jianuo Electronics as well as a stake in Shearer Supply, a distributor of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment for residential and commercial properties in the US, among others.
The company aims to more than double its assets under management to $100bn in the next seven years from $37.6bn as of June 30, 2021, its executive chairman Mohammed Alardhi told Bloomberg in September.