Harris Williams & Co. Advises Survey Sampling International, LLC on its Majority Investment from HGGC

December 16, 2014

Harris Williams & Co., a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide, served as financial advisor to Survey Sampling International, LLC (SSI) on a recently announced majority investment from middle market private equity firm HGGC. SSI is a leading provider of data solutions and technology for market researchers. The HGGC investment was done in partnership with Providence Equity Partners (Providence) and Sterling Investment Partners (Sterling), who have jointly owned the company since 2011. Harris Williams & Co.’s team was led by Mike Wilkins, Jeff Bistrong, Tyler Dewing and Brennan Igoe of the firm’s Technology, Media & Telecom (TMT) Group.  

“The transaction marks a new and exciting chapter for SSI and its shareholders.  The company has experienced impressive growth in recent years, which is a testament to the strong management team and to SSI’s leading global position in the data collection and market research insights sector,” said Mike Wilkins, a managing director in Harris Williams & Co.’s TMT Group. “We expect that the partnership of HGGC and the existing shareholders, coupled with SSI’s commitment to continuous innovation, have the company poised for continued growth and market leadership.”

SSI is the premier global provider of data solutions and technology for consumer and business-to-business survey research, reaching respondents in 86 countries via internet, telephone, mobile/wireless and mixed-access offerings. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Shelton, CT. SSI staff operates from 25 offices in 18 countries, offering CATI, questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, online custom reporting and data processing. SSI’s 3,300 employees serve more than 3,000 clients worldwide.

Providence is a leading global private equity firm specializing in equity investments in media, communications, education, and information companies around the world. The firm manages funds with over $40 billion in commitments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI, and has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Beijing and New Delhi.

Sterling has been investing in and building middle market companies for almost 25 years with a highly experienced, cohesive team of senior investment professionals. Sterling acquires businesses that the firm believes have strong, sustainable competitive advantages and significant opportunities for value creation. Over its history, Sterling has completed platform investments, strategic or add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations and liquidity events with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $9.0 billion, representing more than 100 transactions.  Sterling currently has approximately $1.25 billion of equity capital under management.

HGGC is a leading private equity firm focusing on leveraged buyout, recapitalizations and growth equity transactions in the middle market, and is based in Palo Alto, CA. HGGC seeks to partner with strong management teams, founders, and sponsors to build companies capable of generating sustainable growth. With years of collective deal and operational experience, HGGC brings best practices from private equity and global corporations to help middle market businesses in a wide range of industries outperform the market.

Harris Williams & Co. (www.harriswilliams.com), a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide. The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Harris Williams & Co. provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements and capital markets advisory services.

Harris Williams & Co.’s TMT Group has experience across a broad range of sectors, including software, internet and digital media and infrastructure solutions. Within these segments, the TMT Group focuses on targeted subsectors including application software, data and informatics, eCommerce, education technology, energy technology, financial technology, healthcare IT, infrastructure software, IT and tech-enabled services, mobile, online advertising and marketing services, public sector software and telecom, data center and networking solutions. For more information on the firm’s TMT Group and other recent transactions, visit the TMT Group’s section of the Harris Williams & Co. website.

Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams & Co. is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.