Carlyle Supports the Merger of Obtineo and LBi to Create Europe’s Largest Marketing and Technology Agency

Obtineo is a Combination of Bigmouthmedia, a Portfolio Company of The Carlyle Group, and €40m of New Capital

Thu, 25 February 2010

London – Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group today announced it has agreed to merge Obtineo Netherlands Holding N.V. (“Obtineo”), with LBi. Obtineo is a combination of bigmouthmedia GmbH, the largest search engine marketing specialist in Europe and a portfolio company of Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP), and €40m of newly committed capital. The combined business, which will continue to trade under LBi, will receive €40 million from a PIPE transaction in addition to €10 million from a fully underwritten rights issue. This additional capital will be used to support further geographic expansion in the US, Asia and Middle East as well as a broadening of services capabilities. Following the completion of the transaction, LBi will emerge as a Dutch NV with a single listing at NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.

CETP has been a long term investor in bigmouthmedia, having merged it with German competitor GlobalMedia GmbH in 2006. This latest investment was made in partnership with Cyrte and Janivo, a privately owned investment company based in the Netherlands. CETP will remain an investor in the merged entity LBi in order to continue to drive value organically and through consolidation in the marketing and technology sectors.

Bigmouthmedia serves over 300 large brands globally, including British Airways, Radisson Hotels, Skype, Tesco, and BP. The company maximises advertising expenditure for major brands online through a variety of digital marketing channels. LBi complements the services of bigmouthmedia through providing a full range of digital capabilities, including digital strategy, branded content, service design, media, CRM, technology, managed hosting and support services. The newly merged company now employs over 1,800 professionals across 15 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Nazo Moosa, Director of Carlyle Europe Technology Partners, commented, “This is a transformational deal in a growing market. The combined companies will allow the new entity to offer its clients a fully comprehensive service including digital marketing, consulting and technology services wherever they operate. This also confirms LBi’s position as a leader and creates a solid platform to strengthen reach in the US, Asia and MENA. The company is now exceptionally well placed to take advantage of the irreversible spending shift to online channels.”

Luke Taylor, CEO of LBi said: “We welcome this merger of LBi with Obtineo. The sector knowledge and capital commitment from The Carlyle Group, Cyrte and Janivo will support LBi to reach its full potential. The new LBi is now the undisputed market leader in digital marketing and we are excited about the new prospects this transaction has created for the business.”

Robert Easton, Managing Director and co-head of Carlyle Europe Technology Partners, “Carlyle’s support of this merger underscores our continued commitment to keeping our portfolio ahead of the curve of market trends. We recognised the industry’s move to consolidation and are delighted to be leading the way in securing this opportunity for bigmouthmedia. Combined with LBi, the company is unique in its geographical footprint and extensive range of services, and we look forward to working with Luke’s team to further strengthen LBi’s capabilities.”

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About bigmouthmedia
bigmouthmedia is Europe’s largest search engine marketing company. With a team of over 200 staff across 13 offices in 10 countries on 3 continents, bigmouthmedia is responsible for developing and managing integrated, highly effective SEO, PPC, Affiliate and Display campaigns which drive increased sales and outstanding ROI for brands big and small. The company was founded in 1997 and is one of the few digital marketing agencies with a proven track record of setting up and sustaining multilingual, multi-territory campaigns in 30 languages across the globe.

The recipient of a multitude of industry awards, bigmouthmedia is a Deloitte Fast Growth winner and an FT Best Place to Work.

About LBi
LBi is a global digital marketing and technology agency, blending insight, creativity and expertise to solve business problems. The largest genuinely full service agency of its kind in Europe, LBi provides the full range of digital capabilities, including digital strategy, branded content, service design, media, CRM, technology, managed hosting and support services.

The Company employs over 1,500 professionals located primarily in the major European, American and Asian business centers; such as Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Brussels, London, Milan, Mumbai, New York, Paris and Stockholm.

About Cyrte
Cyrte Investments is a Netherlands based investment firm and manages several private investment funds, with investments in both listed and non‐listed companies and has traditionally focused on companies in the media, entertainment, telecom and technology sectors. Cyrte Investments is part of Delta Lloyd Asset Management, one of the Netherlands major asset managers.

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