Barkley Acquires XperienceLab

Ridgecrest Advisors’ Client XperienceLab Is Acquired by Barkley

St. Louis – March 9, 2017 – Ridgecrest Advisors announced today that its client, XperienceLab LLC, a leading experience transformation management consultancy, has been acquired by Barkley, one of the largest independent advertising agencies in the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Business strategy and marketing strategy have always been two separate things, and brands had to go to two separate places to get them: consultants and ad agencies,” said Barkley president and COO Dan Fromm. “They don’t want to do that anymore. They want one partner who can give them all or most of it in one place. We want to be that partner. We can deliver more nimbly, with better integration, by providing all those services under one entity.”

The addition of XperienceLab to the Barkley portfolio addresses demands for a broader suite of services from Barkley clients such as Hershey, Russell Athletic, Dairy Queen, Cargill and Anheuser-Busch. XperienceLab specializes in providing customer experience transformation, workforce experience transformation and digital product design/innovation services for clients such as Monsanto, Blue Cross Blue Shield and RGA.

“Companies want a partner who can design viable ideas that disrupt the entire ecosystem of experience, from the front-stage interactions with a customer to the backstage of workforce experience,” said XperienceLab managing director and co-founder Michael Chandler.

“The combination of XperienceLab and Barkley results in powerful business transformation opportunities for clients,” said Ridgecrest Managing Partner Randy Grigg.

About Barkley

Barkley is the largest employee-owned advertising agency in the U.S. Ownership has its advantages. It allows us to attract national talent, retain that talent and increase every partner’s passion because they have a financial stake in client and agency success. Our independent structure means we can invest in our clients, talent and resources in ways others can’t.

Barkley is brimming with personality, including a chatty employee back channel on Twitter and Boulevard beer on tap (hey, it’s advertising). Our location has personality, too. Located in the former headquarters of TWA in the Crossroads Arts District, its got a three-story-tall rocket ship on the roof originally placed there by Howard Hughes. We have an extensive art collection, a rooftop deck and garden and our very own theater. Barkley is proud of its steadfast commitment to corporate social responsibility, and we guide many of our clients with their commitment as well.

Barkley exists to help make our clients’ brands irreplaceable. There are some things people can’t live without; whether it’s their favorite restaurant, magazine, car or ice cream. Barkley ensures our clients’ brands are on that list.

About XperienceLab

It’s part Management Consulting, part Human-Centered Design that enables us to understand where your business is challenged to close the gap between rapidly-changing advancements in the competitive landscape, technology and the interactions you have with your customers, distribution channel partners and employees.

When you partner with us, you’ll see that we like to solve complex problems with you, not for you. We call it “fishing with” and it’s because we believe in the model of abundance. We work with you in a collaborative and structured way to ensure that the knowledge, techniques and IP created live on in your organization with your teams.

Our team of cross-industry management consultants and design leaders bring best practices from varied business sectors and use techniques from design thinking, human-centered design, lean, change management, measurement and service design to define and solve problems in a creative and innovative way.

About Ridgecrest Advisors

Ridgecrest Advisors is an investment banking and business consulting firm dedicated to helping technology consulting firms dramatically increase enterprise value. Ridgecrest Advisors helps clients in four core areas:

  1. Buy-side M&A advisory: We help technology consulting clients increase enterprise value by successfully executing transactions which fortify, extend or transform their businesses. We have run three of the most active acquisition programs in the sector over the last 15 years and bring deep insight into full lifecycle M&A efforts.
  2. Sell-side M&A advisory: We help technology consulting clients achieve premium valuations with attractive deal structures through a process that emphasizes speed and risk mitigation. Our deep industry expertise, expansive relationships with the buyer community and unmatched understanding of the perspectives of acquiring firms provide a unique ability to execute optimal transactions.
  3. Business consulting: Our Enterprise Value Optimization program helps technology consulting clients improve relative performance visibility, increase profit margins and reduce business risk. With our extensive experience from evaluating hundreds of consultancies while running acquisition programs, we bring unique insight into key performance indicator benchmarks and best practices of highly profitable firms.
  4. Private placements: Our ability to successfully raise capital allows our technology consulting clients to build value through funded strategic investment and reduce personal financial risk by realizing partial liquidity on their ownership positions. We have extensive relationships with private equity and debt financing providers who have experience and/or interest in the technology consulting sector.

All services involving securities are offered through M&A Securities Group, Inc. (“MAS”), member FINRA/SiPC; 4151 North Mulberry Drive, Suite 252; Kansas City, MO 64116; 816.888.7920. MAS and Ridgecrest are not affiliated entities.