October 2, 2018
INK acquired by The Stagwell Group
Endless is delighted to announce that its investment in the travel media company Ink has been sold an affiliate of The Stagwell Group.
Ink creates award-winning digital, video, print and experiential branded content for the world’s largest travel companies including American Airlines, United Airways, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Norwegian, Qatar Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, easyJet and Amtrak. Ink’s innovative media partnerships allow more than 802 million passengers annually to interact with its clients’ brands and content. Headquartered in London, Ink has a global network of content creators and media sales in Abu Dhabi, Miami, New York, São Paulo and Singapore.
Endless invested in Ink in March 2015 to support the management team led by joint CEO’s Michael Keating and Simon Leslie, and CFO Jim Campbell in delivering a transformational plan, cementing the business’ position as a market leader in a sector where passenger numbers are set to double in size by 2035. Working alongside Endless, Ink has developed an unrivalled position to capture a growing and captive audience, opening new offices in Miami and Abu Dhabi, securing new partnerships with Virgin Atlantic Airways, Amtrak, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways and introducing its bespoke video and content portal solutions during the last three and half years.
The transaction sees the business find a new home in The Stagwell Group. Together the two companies will pursue the mission of leading the travel media industry through premium content creation and distribution to this growing global market. The transaction delivers a market leading 7.7x return for Endless.
Francesco Santinon, Partner at Endless said;
“Having been involved since our initial investment in Ink, we are delighted to have seen the transformation and growth of the business that has seen us exit to The Stagwell Group. We are incredibly proud of the work that has been done, not only visible from the new offices opened around the globe and new customers launched, but the exciting new digital products launched over the last three years, all of which have created a strong base for the business as it looks to the future. Michael Keating, Simon Leslie and Jim Campbell have been an excellent management team that we have greatly enjoyed working with and we wish them all the best for the future.”
Inks’ joint CEOs, Michael Keating and Simon Leslie, said;
“With Endless’ backing we have been able to build upon Ink’s market leading position, making the business truly “best in class”, serving a portfolio of blue-chip customers across the globe. The future looks very bright with The Stagwell Group, with the two parties being an excellent strategic fit.
“We are delighted to join the Stagwell family, as we can see the meaningful opportunities to further shape the future of media from within this strong group. Significant and solid growth is at the heart of Stagwell Managing Partner’s Mark Penn’s plan, and we are thrilled to be part of this international powerhouse.”
Francesco Santinon and Adam Keasey managed the exit for Endless. Management and Endless were advised by KPMG, Reed Smith, K&L Gates, Mishcon de Reya, CIL and BDO.