Searchlight Capital Buys Majority Stake in 160Over90

By Erik Oster 

Private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners purchased a majority stake in national branding and creative services agency 160Over90. According to sources close to the matter, the deal was valued at around $175 million. 

160Over90 was founded by Shannon Price Slusher and Darryl Cilli in 2001 and in fifteen years has grown to include 150 employees across three locations: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Newport Beach, California and Gainesville, Florida. Last year the agency added work for Nike, UCLA, Under Armour, the Philadelphia Eagles, and Texas A&M University to its portfolio, which already included Ferrari North America, the Washington Nationals, the University of Florida and the Atlantic 10 Conference. 160Over90 is the sole agency in Searchlight Capital’s portfolio, which also includes British heritage brand Hunter, Canadian retailer Roots, in-venue interactive music and entertainment platform TouchTunes and Ocean Outdoor, “the U.K. leader in large-format, digital, super-premium advertising locations.”

“160over90 has built an impressive, diversified portfolio of nationally recognized brand leaders and distinguished itself as one of the most innovative branding agencies in North America,” Searchlight Capital founding partner Eric Zinterhofer. “We are thrilled to partner with the 160over90 team, and see great potential for building a network around them.”

“Searchlight’s international presence, investment acumen, and financial support will accelerate 160over90’s expansion and global reach, enhance integrated service offerings, and allow us to continue to recruit the best and brightest branding talent,” said CEO and founding partner Shannon Price Slusher. “We are excited to have them as our partner.”

“The Searchlight partnership really is the best of both worlds. We will be able to stay true to our process, our vision, and our culture,” added founding partner and CCO Darryl Cilli. “It keeps an amazing management team in place that is committed to great work and has our clients’ best interest at heart. Yet, we will have access to all the resources we need to take this firm – and our clients – to the next level.”

Going forward, Slusher and Cilli will retain their leadership positions, joined by a newly appointed roster of eleven agency principals.