SEC Newgate completes acquisition of leading US PR company Global Strategy Group following THCP investment

Three Hills Capital Partners (“THCP”) is pleased to announce that SEC Newgate (“SEC”), the newly completed investment in Three Hills Capital Solutions III (“THCS III” or the “Fund”), has acquired a significant stake in Global Strategy Group (“GSG”), a US leader in public affairs, strategic communications, and research. This represents the first transaction in SEC’s active M&A programme following its delisting from the London AIM, which was a key driver for THCS III’s investment in the business.

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Milan, SEC provides on a global scale data-driven, integrated services across communications, advocacy and research to corporates and institutions. SEC is ranked among the top 30 public relations (“PR”) firms globally. The US is currently the world’s individually largest PR market and, having been established for over 25 years, GSG is seen as one of its market leaders. SEC already has strong coverage in Europe, Australia and EMEA, however, the US remains a relatively untapped market. Geographically, the two businesses are highly complementary, and this partnership will allow for both SEC and GSG to expand their international reach and resources in order to pursue new business opportunities. In 2021, the combined group reached $160 million in revenues.

SEC’s global footprint will now register 850 employees across 43 offices on five continents, including the addition of GSG’s HQ in New York and offices in Washington DC, Chicago, Denver, Hartford and Seattle. GSG will remain operationally independent, maintaining its brand and leadership including founding partners Jon Silvan and Jefrey Pollock, who serve as CEO and President respectively. Likewise, SEC will continue to be led by founder and CEO, Fiorenzo Tagliabue, who has successfully steered the business consolidation and expansion programme to date. Several further prospective M&A opportunities have already been identified and are in advanced discussions.

Michele Prencipe, Partner and THCP Investment Committee member, commented:

“This partnership with GSG represents the first step in our new journey together, and THCP remain excited at the potential pipeline of further M&A opportunities. SEC is well positioned to further cement its position as a global market leader thanks to the vast opportunity set within the dynamic and high-potential strategic communication sector.”

Fiorenzo Tagliabue, Group Chief Executive of SEC Newgate, said:

“Global Strategy Group is a leading agency with high profile clients and a long track record of success. Over the past 30 years, our company has grown dramatically, and we are excited to continue that trajectory in the U.S., the largest market in the world. Joining forces with a firm such as GSG, with in-depth expertise and capabilities in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will provide increased reach and measurable benefits for our clients; for those based in the US, it will deliver one of the most comprehensive, consistent and integrated global footprints in the communications industry spanning across APAC, Middle East, UK and Europe”.

GSG CEO and co-founder Jon Silvan, commented:

“We are thrilled to partner with SEC Newgate and begin the next phase of our growth and success. This partnership allows us to tap into a highly respected and rapidly growing international consultancy as globalization continues to drive business, policy, and politics.”

THCP was advised by:

Business Due Diligence (OC&C): Alberto Regazzo, Christian Christodulopulos and Sebastian Blum