Blackstone to Invest in Simpli.fi, Values Firm at $1.5 Billion

Blackstone Group Inc. said it’s taking a “significant” stake in Simpli.fi, an investment that values the advertising technology platform at about $1.5 billion.

The investment will give Blackstone and GTCR, which acquired a majority interest in the company four years ago, joint control of the Fort Worth, Texas-based company. The two private equity firms will also have equal representation on Simpli.fi’s board, they said in a joint statement.

Since the earlier acquisition, GTCR had worked with Simpli.fi’s co-founders Frost Prioleau and Paul Harrison to scale up, targeting independent agencies and local advertisers. Blackstone’s investment will allow the company to accelerate its growth and execute its acquisition strategy as the company captures more business with the shift in local media spending on digital and connected TV, according to the statement.

“Digital advertising is a high-conviction investment theme at Blackstone and Simpli.fi sits at the intersection of multiple attractive tailwinds,” Sachin Bavishi, a managing director at Blackstone, said in the statement. The investment will be made through Blackstone’s flagship private equity fund.

Simpli.fi’s products are used in 120,000 advertising campaigns for 30,000 advertisers in a typical month, it said.

The investment came just two months after Bloomberg reported that D & Z Media Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company co-sponsored by Intercontinental Exchange Inc., was in talks to merge with Simpli.fi. The SPAC was seeking to raise new equity to support a transaction that valued the combined entity at $1.5 billion or more.

Evercore and Luma Partners advised Simpli.fi and GTCR.

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