• October 17, 2012
  • North America
  • Technology, Media, and Telecom

H.I.G. Growth Partners Announces the Formation of Escalate Media Holdings and Completes the Acquisition of Womensforum.com and Escalate Media

BOSTON, MA – October 17, 2012 – H.I.G. Growth Partners (“H.I.G.”), the dedicated growth capital investment affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm, is pleased to announce that its newly-formed portfolio company, Escalate Media Holdings (“Escalate Media” or the “Company”), has completed the acquisition of womensforum.com, Inc (“womensforum.com”) and Escalate Media, LP (“Escalate”).

Womensforum.com and Escalate are leading online advertising companies encompassing a number of owned and operated websites, an online advertising network and an affiliate network. Womensforum.com is a top online destination and network of content for women, providing resources for its millions of unique monthly visitors. The company’s editorial and video content verticals include food, parenting, health, living, style and entertainment, where experts are focused on the topics important to their readers and users. Aside from womensforum.com, other sites in the womensforum.com network include: www.copykat.com, www.poshmom.com, and www.educationworld.com.

Escalate creates and manages online social networks and communities connecting users who share a passion for intelligent conversation on diverse topics via dedicated content and forums. These dedicated vertical communities are focused on a wide range of subjects, including shopping and savings, home and gardening, do-it-yourself and parenting and provide a venue for users to exchange ideas and learn. In addition, Escalate manages a leading performance driven affiliate advertising network where brands and targeted service providers can engage with millions of families. Escalate Media has a combined reach of over 25 million targeted users making it a leader in its vertical. Advertisers such as General Mills, Home Depot and Sara Lee, among others, use Escalate Media to engage with those users in a variety of ways.

“The online advertising market continues to grow across all segments and this investment from H.I.G. will enable us to more aggressively pursue opportunities in the marketplace, positioning us for further success,” said Mark Kaufman, CEO of Escalate Media. “We plan to expand our content offering and provide more engaging resources for our expanding base of users allowing for more meaningful ways for marketers to interact with them. Womensforum.com has been a leading provider of online women’s content for over 16 years and this strategic alliance with Escalate will help position the combined entity for its next stage of growth.” Jodi Luber, President and Co-Founder of womensforum.com added, “As a pioneer in the online women’s category, it’s been rewarding to be a part of the growth and evolution over the past 16 years. We are excited about our partnership with H.I.G., which will help enable us to continue to expand in the ever-changing landscape that is the women’s online market.”

“Escalate and womensforum.com are market leaders, bringing tremendous value to advertisers and consumers in one of the largest online populations,” commented John Kim, Managing Director for H.I.G. Growth Partners. “The depth of the companies’ content and relationships gives Escalate Media a unique ability to deliver customized solutions to advertisers and strengthens the quality of the offering for consumers. We are pleased to partner with an outstanding senior leadership team and look forward to the new company’s continued growth.”

As part of the investment, John Kim and Nik Shah from H.I.G. Growth Partners will join Escalate Media’s Board of Directors.

About Escalate Media Holdings
Escalate Media Holdings is a leading provider of targeted online advertising and content solutions for tens of millions of internet users worldwide . The company’s current subsidiaries, womensforum.com and Escalate, provides its users, which are primarily millions of women, with content, communities and information to enhance their lives. Escalate Media also works with leading national brands and advertisers and can help them target their consumers in a variety of engaging methods. Escalate Media is headquartered in Chicago and is a leading web property in its targeted verticals.

About H.I.G. Growth Partners
H.I.G. Growth Partners is the dedicated growth capital investment affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm with over $10 billion of capital under management. With $500 million of committed capital, Growth Partners seeks to make both majority and minority equity investments ranging from $5 million to $30 million in strong, growth-oriented businesses with between $10 million and $100 million in revenues. Growth Partners considers investments across all industries, but focuses on certain high-growth sectors where the team has extensive in-house expertise such as healthcare, technology, internet and media, consumer products and technology-enabled financial and business services. Growth Partners strives to work closely with our management teams to serve as an experienced resource, providing broad-based strategic, operational, recruiting and financial management services from a vast in-house team and a substantial network of third-party relationships. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.HIGgrowth.com.