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The parent company of Cision, a leading global provider of cloud-based earned media solutions, and D.C.-based Capitol Acquisition Corp. III, headed by Mark Ein, shown above, have entered into an agreement in which Cision will become a publicly listed company with an anticipated initial enterprise value of approximately $2.4 billion.

Cision’s management team, led by CEO Kevin Akeroyd and CFO Jack Pearlstein, will continue to run the combined company post-transaction.  Mark Ein, Capitol Chairman and CEO, will join the combined company’s board of directors and serve as Vice Chairman.  Capitol’s President and CFO, Dyson Dryden, will also join the board.

“There is a shift in corporate marketing spend to the earned channel driven by its higher ROI and proven success in building brands and the declining efficacy of traditional paid media advertising,” said Ein.  “We are investing in Cision, a market leader, to get behind this large, important trend and position the company for accelerated future growth.  We think the combined company will deliver superior returns for investors long into the future.”

(D.C.-based Ein, owner of the World Team Tennis franchise Washington Kastles, recently teamed up with fellow team owner Fred Luddy of San Diego Aviators to buy a majority stake in the six-team league from tennis legend Billie Jean King.)

According to a Cision release, “the rise of marketing technology is driving increased investment in communications and PR.  According to Gartner Inc., marketing technology spend is expected to exceed spend on core enterprise IT by 2017 and is growing at a much faster rate (12% vs. 3%, respectively).  With the effectiveness of paid advertising declining, as evidenced by GlobalWebIndex research indicating that 60% of desktop users have used ad-blockers, marketing technology spend is shifting toward earned media channels. These tailwinds, coupled with strategic flexibility provided by the merger, will broaden Cision’s market opportunity beyond leadership in global communications intelligence software and services, a $3 billion industry according to Burton-Taylor International Consulting LLC, into the marketing software market, which IDC estimates will reach $32 billion by 2018, and ultimately into the broader digital marketing and data markets.””

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