Francisco Partners Joins Forces with H.I.G. Capital to Acquire and Invest in RBmedia
Press Releases — Sep 14, 2023
Private Buy Out
SAN FRANCISCO – September 14, 2023 – Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm, specializing in technology and media-focused businesses, announced today that it has partnered with H.I.G. Capital and RBmedia’s management to complete the acquisition of RBmedia from KKR. With this investment, H.I.G. and Francisco Partners will support RBmedia, the leading audiobook publisher in the world, in the continued growth of the company’s vast catalog of spoken content and powerful distribution network that reaches millions of global listeners.
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Landover, Maryland, RBmedia’s award-winning catalog of over 66,000 titles is available through more than 50 digital listening platforms, including Audible, Spotify, Apple, Google Play, Scribd, Storytel, OverDrive, Hoopla, and others. Over the last five years, the company has doubled its catalog of content to deliver diverse options to its listeners.
“We are excited to partner with H.I.G. to help usher in RBmedia’s next phase of growth as the audiobook industry continues to expand. Francisco Partners has extensive experience in audio and content publishing, technology and media and we believe audiobooks are at a positive inflection point. Working together, our capital and operating insights will give RBmedia’s team renewed resources to continue to solidify their reputation as the most valuable partner for authors, publishers, distributors, and voice actors in the audiobook market.” said Matt Spetzler, Partner & Co-Head of Europe at Francisco Partners, and Jason Brein, Partner at Francisco Partners.
“We look forward to working with Francisco Partners and H.I.G. to capitalize on the numerous tailwinds present in the industry. We welcome Francisco’s media technology expertise and its global presence and are eager to partner with them and H.I.G. on the next chapter of our story,” said Tom Maclsaac, CEO of RBmedia.
Aaron Tolson, Managing Director at H.I.G., said, “The audiobook industry is poised for sustained growth, and H.I.G. is thrilled to collaborate with RBmedia's management team and Francisco Partners to usher the company into its next chapter. I am confident that together with Francisco Partners, we will bolster RBmedia's position as a leading audiobook publisher.”
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, RBC Capital Markets, and Barclays acted as financial advisors. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to Francisco Partners and Latham & Watkins LLP provided legal advice to H.I.G. Capital.
RBmedia is the leading audiobook publisher in the world. With more than 66,000 titles, our audiobooks continually top key literary awards and bestseller lists. The company’s powerful digital retail and library distribution network reaches millions of listeners around the globe—at home, in the car, and everywhere their mobile devices go. Our titles are available on leading audio platforms, including Audible, Spotify, Apple, Google Play, Audiobooks.com, Storytel, OverDrive, Hoopla, and many more. Find out more at rbmediaglobal.com.
About Francisco Partners
Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology and technology-enabled businesses. Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in more than 400 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. With approximately $45 billion in capital raised to date, the firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential. For more information on Francisco Partners, please visit www.franciscopartners.com.
About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. Capital is a leading global alternative investment firm with $58 billion of capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to middle market companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach:
- H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
- H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. also manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
- H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.
- H.I.G. Infrastructure focuses on making value-add and core plus investments in the infrastructure sector.
Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 400 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $52 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.
*Based on total capital raised by H.I.G. Capital and its affiliates.
Head of Corporate Marketing & Communications