Dolphin Digital Media has acquired 42West, the independent public relations and marketing firm, in a deal valued at $28 million, to be paid in shares of Dolphin stock, it was announced Thursday. The agreement includes performance-based contingent consideration of up to $9.3 million to be paid over a three-year period.
As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dolphin, 42West will continue to operate under its own name and existing management team, with its principal partners Leslee Dart, Amanda Lundberg and Allan Mayer all serving as co-chief executive officers. It also will continue to operate out of its existing offices in New York and Los Angeles.
Based in Miami, the publicly traded Dolphin produces film, TV and digital content such Hulu's South Beach series; Aim High, starring Jackson Rathbone and Aimee Teegarden on AOL; H+: The Digital Series from Bryan Singer on YouTube; and Cybergeddon from Anthony E. Zuiker on Yahoo. Its sister company, Dolphin Entertainment, is a producer of children's and young adult live-action television programming.
42West grew out of The Dart Group, which Dart launched in 2004. Lundberg joined Dart a few months later, and in 2006, Mayer joined the partnership and the company was rechristined 42West. Its starry lineup of clients includes Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Woody Allen and Tom Cruise, among a host of others.
"Leslee, Amanda, and Allan are industry leaders at the top of their game," Dolphin Digital Media CEO Bill O'Dowd said in announcing the acquisition. "They, along with their senior management team, have built 42West into a best-in-class entertainment marketing powerhouse that combines an unparalleled A-list celebrity client roster with an elite roll of corporate clients that includes virtually every major studio, pay television network, and important digital platform. This unique combination of individual and project marketing creates tremendous opportunities for strategic partnerships, from new content creation to consumer brands and beyond."
"In Dolphin, we've found a kindred spirit as well as a strategic partner," the three 42West partners said in a joint statement. "At a time of enormous innovation in the entertainment and media industries, we're delighted to be joining up with a ground-breaking, accomplished organization that can provide us with the broad platform and ample resources to take full advantage of the many exciting opportunities before us. In particular, we look forward to developing our capabilities in content creation, which will enable us to create additional value for our clients."
Canaccord Genuity served as exclusive financial advisor to Dolphin; Greenberg Traurig served as legal counsel to Dolphin; and Davis & Gilbert served as legal counsel to 42West.