Media company Gorkana sold to Cision for £200m

Tim Wallace
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AMERICAN media group Cision yesterday snapped up British PR data company Gorkana in a deal estimated to be worth £200m.

Exponent Private Equity sold the company, after building it up from Durrants, Metrica and Gorkana, merging the three into a combined group.

Gorkana was founded in 2005 by former Brunswick PRs Michael Webster and Alex Northcott, who sold to Durrants in 2010 for £25m.

Cision has been on the acquisition trail this year, merging with Vocus into a company specialising in PR software.

“When Cision and Vocus combined, we emphasised that customers would benefit from our commit­ment to invest in innovations,” said Cision’s boss Peter Granat.

“The acquisition of Gorkana is a prime example of this steadfast commitment, and our desire to provide innovative products and services to communication, social and content marketing professionals.”

And Gorkana’s chief Jeremy Thomp­son said the plan was to expand more internationally. Thompson will join Cision’s executive management team as the boss of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

DC Advisory was hired in May to work on the deal.

“This transaction is a great ex­ample of the convergence between PR services, marketing services and marketing technology, a sector, which DC Advisory knows very well,” said the corporate finance house’s chief executive Richard Madden.

The media, PR and marketing industries are going through a period of change and consolidation as the increasing impact of the internet takes hold.

The groups are banding together in an effort to coordinate advertising campaigns across news, social media and traditional marketing sectors.


1 Richard Madden led the team working on the Cision deal, after Gorkana hired the advisers back in May. Madden was joined by DC Advisory’s head of technology, media and telecoms Nathaniel Cooper who also handled the negotiations on the takeover.

2 Recent deals DC Advisory’s teams have worked on include Exponential’s purchase of Adotube and Cardtronic’s £41.5m takeover of Sunwin Services Group. Madden’s team also gave buy-side advice to Bridgepoint in its £212m acquisition of Moneycorp in August.

3 Before working at DC, Richard Madden was a senior managing director at Bear Stearns and a managing director at ING Barings. He joined ING Barings from Arthur Andersen.