Daily News: January 30, 2012

CSG Partners Advises Marlin Network on Sale to ESOP


CSG Partners, LLC, the New York-based boutique investment bank, served as financial advisor to Marlin Network, Inc. on its recent sale to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Marlin Network is now owned 100% by its employees.

Founded in 1985, Marlin Network is a full-service business-to-business branding agency with particular expertise in the food and beverage Industry.

Headquartered in Springfield, MO, the company operates multiple, distinct business units: Deep, The Marlin Company Advertising Agency, The Alchemedia Project, FoodIQ, StarAwards, and Marlin Network Consulting Group. Through these business units, the company represents over 70 leading food and beverage brands and is the nation’s leading purchaser of foodservice-focused media.

George Thacker, a managing director with CSG Partners, commented on the transaction, “Unlike other potential exit strategies, the ESOP is a winning proposition for everyone. The ESOP provides an excellent liquidity strategy for the owners and exceptional benefits for the employees who are now owners of the company.

This follows another ESOP transaction CSG Partners completed in the branding industry. The firm previously represented BrandLogic, one of the nation’s leading full-service independent branding consulting firms, on its sale to an ESOP.

CSG Partners, LLC is a boutique investment bank specializing in ESOPs, mergers and acquisitions, and capital advisory services for middle-market companies.