Carlyle Group completes Dept Agency acquisition

Dept_Agency L-R Dimi Albers (Global CEO), Daniel Rupp (Global CFO), Frank Schmid (Global COO), Paul Manuel (co-founder), Bart Manuel (co-founder)

Global investment firm The Carlyle Group has completed its majority stake investment in digital agency Dept.

The deal was first announced in December 2019.

Dept delivers end-to-end digital experiences for brands worldwide through an integrated team that combines expertise in creativity, technology and data.

Carlyle investment

With this transaction Carlyle strengthens its footprint in the digital services sector. The firm services clients such as Triumph Motorcycles, Ann Summers, Formula E and Johnson Matthey.

Founded in Amsterdam in 2015, the Dept team currently has more than 1,500 people in thirteen countries across Europe.

In the UK, Dept employs over 160 people.

Equity for the investment comes from Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP) IV, a fund that invests in technology and media-focused small to medium sized enterprises in Europe and the US, as well as from Carlyle Europe Partners V (CEP V), a European-focused upper-mid market buyout fund.

Dept. inks another deal

In parallel to the closing of Carlyle’s investment, Dept has also signed an agreement to acquire leading Swiss-based digital agency Hinderling Volkart, fuelling an early expansion of the company under Carlyle’s ownership.

Hinderling Volkart will bolster Dept’s existing digital services capabilities and brand name in Switzerland.

Michael Wand, Managing Director on the CETP advisory team, said: “We are delighted to have completed this investment into a next generation digital agency combining technology, creativity, data, and marketing services.

“With digital transformation being an issue of key strategic importance for all businesses, we believe Dept is well-positioned to consolidate their position as an award-winning agency and drive greater value for their clients.

“We look forward to working with the excellent “Depster” team to achieve this.”

Dimi Albers, CEO of Dept, said: “Carlyle’s investment in Dept is a testament to our track record and potential as an agency.

“Our acquisition of Hinderling Volkart is a great next chapter. It shows that with the help of Carlyle, we are accelerating our journey towards becoming the best agency in the world.

“By uniting creativity, technology and data, we know that we are building the agency model of the future and we can’t wait to put this into practice.”