Rockbridge Growth Equity acquires Robb Report
Detroit-based private equity firm will take over Malibu, California-based publisher to luxury marketers
Detroit, Mich. – December 3, 2014 — Detroit-based private equity firm Rockbridge Growth Equity today announced it has acquired Robb Report, the worldwide definitive authority on luxury lifestyle which connects the most discerning global audiences to the most respected luxury marketers through magazines, websites, apps, events and a private club.
“Robb Report is an exciting consumer-based, well-branded company with an experienced and strong management team. We believe Rockbridge and its Family of Companies’ operational expertise and infrastructure, particularly in the areas of marketing and technology, will help leverage the opportunity for Robb Report to grow at an accelerated pace,” said Managing Partner of Rockbridge, Brian Hermelin. “It is always thrilling to provide the needed capital and support to a motivated and smart leadership team who sit at the center of an internationally growing space that is primed for innovation and creativity. We are more than pleased to be partnering with Bill Curtis and his management group to acquire this company and build it in the years ahead.”
For close to 40 years, the Robb Report brand has been the ultimate source of inspiration and information about luxury products and services worldwide. With a focus on quality, craftsmanship and connoisseurship, Robb Report curates the best-of-the-best in all categories of luxury in 14 international markets and 9 languages.
“The insight and creativity of the Rockbridge team, combined with expertise from its affiliated companies, will facilitate rapid growth at Robb Report allowing us to build upon our digital and international momentum,” said Bill Curtis, Robb Report CEO. “The partnership with Rockbridge will allow us to expand our digital and international strategy and reach more of our unique audience and better connect them with our advertisers.”
Plans are underway for Robb Report to open a new downtown Detroit office to support its expanding technology, digital media and sales initiatives. Rockbridge has been one of the primary players engaged in building the new burgeoning technology district in the urban core of the Motor City. In the past four years alone, over 120 technology and new economy companies along with over 12,000 plus full-time employees have located along or near the high-tech corridor in Detroit.
Robb Report joins the Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures Family of Companies that includes other high-growth businesses with expertise in technology, digital media, interactive marketing and direct-to-consumer customer acquisition. These companies include Quicken Loans; Triad Retail Media, the market leader in creating, managing and operating digital retail media programs for highly trafficked retail websites; Gas Station TV, America’s number one video network at the pump delivering an industry-leading experience to more than 50 million monthly viewers nationwide; Northcentral University, a leader in for-profit, post-graduate education; Purchasing Power, an e-commerce and finance company that allows highly-qualified, under banked customers to purchase a broad variety of “large-ticket” products over the internet and finance them through direct payroll deduction; and Fathead, a leader in digital sports and entertainment products.
Headquartered in Malibu, California, with offices in New York, Massachusetts and Florida, Robb Report currently employs 110 people. Robb Report is working towards doubling its global footprint from 14 international editions to 30 in the coming months.
Robb Report is accessible to digital users at RobbReport.com, in a variety of digital newsletters, and apps are accessible via iPad, Kindle Fire, and Nook Tablets. It is also available through Zinio’s online newsstand, Magzter, and Google Play.
Berkery Noyes served as the exclusive financial advisor to Robb Report and Michigan-based Flagstar Bank arranged the senior debt facilities in conjunction with the transaction. Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP served as Rockbridge Growth Equity’s legal counsel and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal counsel to Robb Report.
Rockbridge was founded in 2007 by partners Brian Hermelin, Kevin Prokop and Dan Gilbert, who is also Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures LLC and Quicken Loans Inc., the 2nd largest mortgage lender in the United States. Mr. Gilbert is also majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers among numerous other technology, finance, sports and entertainment businesses which he owns and/or operates.