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Luxury marcomms group The Independents raises US$400m for global expansion

Luxury marcomms group The Independents raises US$400m for global expansion

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Global entertainment company FL Entertainment and private equity group TowerBrook have led a US$400m investment round for global luxury marcomms group The Independents to support the company’s ambition in doubling its size by 2025, through a strong acquisition strategy and dynamic international expansion.

The Independents is a global group of agencies for industry leaders across luxury and lifestyle, comprising Bureau Betak & Bureau Future, Karla Otto, K2, The Qode, Lefty and Prodject. The agency collective is positioned to offer streamlined strategy, creative, talent, influencer marketing, experiences and communications services for brands across key territories such as Milan, Paris, London, Munich, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Dubai and Riyadh.

Revenue for the group in 2023 is expected to reach US$450m, equally split between Asia, the USA and Europe & the Middle East.

The fundraising comes following the recent debt financing lead by BIL, Société Générale, LCL, La Banque Postale and CIC Private debt. The partnership will bring the financial backing and expertise necessary for The Independents to accelerate its growth trajectory, both organically and via an ambitious acquisition strategy. It will also allow The Independents to further consolidate its position as a global communications, marketing and event management partner to luxury brands in the world.

This latest fundraising round will further cement the group as a pioneer in brand positioning for luxury, fashion, design, lifestyle, hospitality, and the arts, according to the release. Furthermore, the new deal will see existing partners Cathay Capital exit the group.

Commenting on the investment round, Isabelle Chouvet, chief executive and founder of The Independents Group, said: "Clients’ briefs are increasingly fluid and call for a new way of combining practices; our carefully curated build up strategy of connecting the best-in-class agencies and industry pioneers allows us to deliver a comprehensive and holistic range of actionable solutions. The substantial investment gives us the capacity to further execute our innovative, integrated services worldwide. "

Meanwhile, Fahd Elkadiri and Edouard Peugeot, managing directors at TowerBrook said they have been highly impressed by The Independent’s history of growth to date, which was made possible by the quality of its people, the strength of its service offering, and a sound consolidation strategy, which allowed the company to create a differentiated, global and one-stop-shop positioning in its market.

“We believe there continue to be tremendous growth opportunities for the company, and we are as such very much looking forward to supporting the business in its next phase of development with the full contribution of our global TowerBrook eco-system,” they added.

This is a great opportunity to partner with a successful business within a dynamic industry, carried by strong tailwinds and that remains largely unconsolidated. We share the same entrepreneurial DNA with The Independents and there are strong similarities with our existing content and production activity,” said François Riahi, Chief Executive Officer of FL Entertainment.

This investment demonstrates FL Entertainment’s ability to identify and capitalise on fast-growing and fragmented segments of the global entertainment industry, he added.

It is very important for us to have a partner who understands not only the industry, but also the culture,” said Alexandre de Betak, co-founder of The Independents Group. “There is a natural synergy with our new partners; we are similarly building an independent portfolio of leading talents with inherent shared values at our core. More and More, our clients are looking to become cultural brands. This new investment partnership is the next logical step for us to enable that.

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