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05/17/2021

The Mars Agency Receives Equity Investment

The Mars Agency, a Southfield, MI-based global commerce marketing agency, is receiving a substantial equity investment by Denver-based middle market private equity firm Mountaingate Capital.

Founded in 1972, The Mars Agency has experienced tremendous growth since inception and is a leader in shopper conversion, retail intelligence and technology solutions. The Mars Agency serves a client roster of globally recognized and industry-leading brands. With a growing team of more than 500 employees spread across three continents, The Mars Agency is partnering with Mountaingate to accelerate growth organically as well as through selective strategic acquisitions to better serve its clients.

The Mars Agency will continue to operate as an independent agency with the same level of agility and client centricity, and this new equity funding will allow The Mars Agency to build out capabilities, strengthen its offering and further the development of the company's proprietary commerce technology platform, Marilyn.

The Mars Agency leadership team will remain intact across the domestic and international offices. Both Ken Barnett and Rob Rivenburgh, together with members of the senior leadership team, will continue as equity owners in the partnership. Barnett will remain Executive Chairman and Rivenburgh will be elevated to Global CEO. Additionally, Darren Keen remains as CEO, International Markets, responsible for the agency's continued operational expansion outside of North America.

"We have an industry-leading track record of passionately innovating and bringing cutting edge solutions forward to our clients and to the market. This gives us the financial backing to continue to do that even faster through innovation and acquisition," Barnett said. "Fueling our growth allows us to lead, retain and attract the best talent, innovate, and offer the most powerful solutions and ideas to our valued clients globally."

The Mars Agency leadership team chose this equity partner because Mountaingate is aligned with the company's core values and has tremendous experience accelerating technology enabled solutions. Mountaingate has invested extensively in the data and technology driven marketing services industry and has a proven process and team to complement The Mars Agency leadership group. Furthermore, this investment allows The Mars Agency to operate independently, maintaining its agility,"intrapreneurialism" and growth-minded culture to continue to optimally serve and partner with its clients — a stringent component in The Mars Agency selection criteria.

"Mountaingate's extensive experience helping businesses of our size to scale within the commerce marketing industry and alignment with The Mars Agency's purpose of driving growth for our clients, our people and our community made Mountaingate the perfect partner for us," Rivenburgh said. "We are thrilled to have their support and are very excited about this next chapter of growth."

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