AdMedia Partners Advises Code and Theory in Acquisition by Stagwell Group

M&A firm advises a leading, rapidly growing digital agency in transaction, a key move in creation of Stagwell’s digital portfolio

NEW YORK – M&A advisory firm AdMedia Partners, Inc. is pleased to announce that it acted as financial advisor to Code and Theory, a leading creative digital agency, in its majority acquisition by the Stagwell Group’s fund, Stagwell Media LLC.

“Code and Theory is very proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team”

Code and Theory was founded in 2001 by Dan Gardner and Brandon Ralph and creates products, content and campaigns for leading companies across physical and digital worlds. Code and Theory is known for redefining media platforms for clients like Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, Vogue and Mashable, and enabling brands like Maybelline New York and BURGER KING® to connect with new and existing consumers. The agency is headquartered in New York City with offices in Atlanta, London, San Francisco and Manila, the Philippines.

“Digital is a critical and core part of our strategy. Few firms have the state-of-the art experience that Code and Theory brings to the table in a digital space,” said Mark Penn, Managing Partner and President of The Stagwell Group, LLC. “Under Dan and Brandon’s leadership, we are excited about Code and Theory’s future as part of our digital marketing services portfolio of companies.”

With over three hundred professionals around the world, Code and Theory has been recognized as a leading international firm. In 2014, Code and Theory was recognized by Advertising Age as an “Agency to Watch” and, in 2015, the agency was listed by Fast Company as one of the world’s “Most Innovative Companies.”

“We are a company full of creative people, not traditional businesspeople, and we believe Stagwell Group is the right partner as we continue to grow our firm and do great work for our clients,” said Dan Gardner, co-founder.

“Code and Theory is very proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team,” said Brandon Ralph, co-founder. “We’re looking forward to working with Stagwell to take our company to the next level.”

Code and Theory will continue to operate independently within Stagwell Group LLC as a stand-alone agency run by the current management team. Co-founders Dan Gardner and Brandon Ralph continue to hold a minority ownership stake.

About Code and Theory

Code and Theory is a creatively-led agency that creates products, content and campaigns across physical and digital worlds. The agency has helped brands tell stories and design the systems that carry them since 2001. From redefining the publishing industry with clients like Los Angeles Times, Vogue and Mashable, to creating award-winning marketing programs for brands like Dr Pepper, Maybelline New York and BURGER KING, to designing physical products for companies like Brown-Forman and Outernet, Code and Theory is a creative agency for the entire ecosystem. Additional information available at

About Stagwell

The Stagwell Group LLC is a registered investment advisory company formed by Mark Penn who serves as the Managing Partner of Stagwell Media LLC, a private equity fund. This is Stagwell’s third acquisition in the marketing services industry, joining strategic communications firm SKDKnickerbocker and entertainment research firm National Research Group (NRG). The fund previously announced it has raised $250 million in capital and may leverage that to make up to $750 million in acquisitions. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is among the investors. Additional information available at

About AdMedia Partners

Founded in 1990, AdMedia is a leading M&A advisory firm serving the marketing services, advertising, marketing technology, media and information sectors. AdMedia has completed over 230 transactions for clients valued in excess of $11 billion. For more information,

via BusinessWire