CSG Partners Advises Marlin Network, Inc. on Sale to ESOP

Leading branding firm now employee owned

Jan 30, 2012, 09:14 ET from CSG Partners, LLC

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 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. It is the nation's largest privately-held branding firm in the foodservice space.

Headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, 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.

Dennis Marlin, who started Marlin Network, commented, "This business is all about our people. They make the product and deliver the creative thinking and passion that makes this business so rewarding. The ESOP allows us to give back to our employees who have contributed so much to the success of Marlin Network and its affiliates. It also ensures Marlin Network remains independent and is positioned for continued growth."

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.

Denny Summers, an ESOP attorney with Taylor English in Atlanta, served as legal counsel for Marlin Network.

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.

About CSG Partners

CSG Partners, LLC is a boutique investment bank specializing in ESOPs, mergers and acquisitions, and capital advisory services for middle-market companies. CSG Partners has closed over 100 ESOP transactions for companies with an aggregate value exceeding $6 billion, for companies ranging in value from $10 million to $500 million. The firm is headquartered in New York and has additional offices in Miami in San Francisco. More information can be found at www.csgpartners.com.