Big money in branding; PE firm acquires majority stake in 160Over90

Tom Paine

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Who says there's no big money in branding?

A New York PE firm, Searchlight Capital Partners, has purchased a majority stake in national branding and creative services agency 160Over90. AgencySpy cites sources as saying the deal was valued at around $175 million, presumably referring to the value of the entire agency.

It was founded by Shannon Price Slusher and Darryl Cilli, who both reside in the Philadelphia area, in 2001. 160Over90 has offices in California and Florida as well as Philadelphia, and employs about 150, most of whom are based in Philly.

160Over90's client portfolio seems weighted, though by no means exclusively, towards sports brands, both pro (the Eagles are one) and college, and academic institutions themselves.

Branding means much more than slapping a new name on something. One example of 160Over90's clout is a recent $1.6 million contract with the University of Vermont. It will produce videos for its website, a glossy hard-copy "view book" for prospective students, and other marketing materials with a consistent theme defining the school.

Slusher and  Cilli will continue to manage the business.

Links 3/2: South Jersey's Checkpoint Systems to be sold to Canadian firm; A peak at SevOne's & Vanguard's development plans

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Canada's CCL to buy anti-theft tag maker Checkpoint for $422 million (Reuters)
A little side story: Checkpoint briefly moved its headquarters from South Jersey to Philadelphia a few years ago, but the shrink management expert experienced its own prolonged shrinkage period and moved HQ back to Thorofare.
Checkpoint has a lot of good technology, and its shares were up 29% to $10.23 today in post-acquisition bid trading. But it traded at over $29 prior to the recession.

SevOne’s 2016 Product Roadmap Vision (SevOne)
From a month ago, but still relevant.

From client labs to big data: How Vanguard has evolved customer experience (John T. Marcante/The Enterprise Project)
John T. Marcante is Vanguard’s chief information officer and managing director of Vanguard’s Information Technology Division.
Doesn't give away trade secrets, I'm sure, but still an interesting look at some of the
technologies Vanguard is incorporating.

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FCC Complaint Filed Against Comcast's Stream TV (Broadcasting & Cable)

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The first ever Google Car crash has a dirty little secret (Computerworld)