Carlyle Group buys majority stake in digital agency Dept Group


Global investment firm The Carlyle Group has reached a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Dept, a leading independent digital agency based in Amsterdam.

This investment will enable Dept to continue  to accelerate its growth in the fast-paced digital agency sector, the company said.

Dept delivers end-to-end digital experiences for brands and businesses worldwide such as Bose, Tesla, Samsung, Formula E, Indigo and Beiersdorf.

Dutch origins

Founded in Amsterdam in 2015, the Dept team has grown from 150 people in The Netherlands to more than 1,500 people in thirteen countries across Europe and the Americas, including the UK.

During this period 2015-2019, Dept’s revenue rose tenfold to over €150 million.

Dimi Albers, ceo of Dept, said: “Over the past four and a half years, we have built Dept on the insight that brands and businesses are in need of a new kind of agency.

“One that brings together creativity, technology and data in integrated teams for its clients. An agency with simple structures, speed, clarity, and personal contact.

Global ambitions

“With the help of Carlyle, we can continue to accelerate our journey to become a globally recognised powerhouse, while remaining firmly in charge of our own culture, brand and way of working.

Michael Wand, Managing Director and Co-Head of the CETP investment advisory team at The Carlyle Group, said: “Digital transformation is a growing strategic issue for all businesses, and Dept is well-placed to support client needs in this space by providing an integrated one-stop-shop service which combines creativity, technology and data.

“Dept has the hallmarks we look for in our investments – above-market growth in a strategic sector, a partnership with a strong and high-energy leadership team, and multiple levers for growth, including international development.

“We see significant, long-term potential to build on what Dept has accomplished  to date and  look forward to working together.”