NEW YORK: This week's $11.3 billion buyout of SunGard Data Systems - the largest leveraged buyout in more than 15 years - provided a slew of work for financial communications specialists.
Seven separate investment firms banded together to acquire control of SunGard, which manufactures software for financial services companies. Five of those firms worked with outside communications agencies on the deal.
Citigate Sard Verbinnen served as the lead agency on the transaction, representing both Providence Equity Partners and Silver Lake Partners, the firm that led the acquisition. Sard principal Matt Benson, who led the work on behalf of Silver Lake, was described by others involved in the deal as the main coordinator of communications for the investment consortium.
KKR worked with Kekst & Company, its longtime agency. Kekst also aided the firm in its role in the acquisition of Toys 'R' Us last month.
Stanton Crenshaw Communications assisted Bain Capital, a client for the past five years, in its portion of the acquisition. SCC CEO Alex Stanton said that the most challenging aspect was "to make sure that the message is well coordinated and is delivered consistently" by the large group of buyers.
A team of three at Blicksilver PR aided the investment partnership Texas Pacific Group. TPG has worked with the agency since 1993, said president Owen Blicksilver. He called Benson's work on the deal "very effective."
The final two firms in the investment consortium, Goldman Sachs and The Blackstone Group, handled their communications in-house.
SunGard itself worked with Intermarket Communications, its financial agency partner for about four years, according to Brian Robins, SunGard's head of marketing. Robins said that SunGard's in-house communications team is "very small," and would not be affected by the deal. "It's business as usual," he said.