The Stagwell Group LLC – Mark Penn’s communications company – has made their first acquisition – something we reported some months ago was a very likely possibility. While the firm raised $250 million at launch, tonite it has been reported that they have acquired SKDKnickerbocker, a major Democratic communications firm whose revenues have been estimated at approximately $50 Million Dollars.
Public Relations industry insiders have estimated this deal is likely to be a $50-75 Million dollar acquisition, structured as a 3 year earn-out.
The partners of SKDKnickerbocker likely received $25-$30 Million up-front upon closing, and will likely receive an additional $25-$45 Million depending on performance to be paid during the years to come. Not surprisingly, The New York Times story reported that “Several of the SKDKnickerbocker partners signed long-term contracts”, as the funds will be paid out annually on a traditional earn-out basis.
The New York Times was first to report the story of the acquisition of SKDKnickerbocker which“was founded in 2004 and employs many of the nation’s top Democratic strategists, including former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn and former lobbyist Hilary Rosen.” The firm maintains offices in New York City, Albany and Washington, D.C.
According to Wikipedia, their clients have included President Obama, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others.