Stop The Presses: Bisnow Acquired!
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No, this is not April Fool's. This is for real, and we couldn't be more excited. Bisnow has a new owner—the Wicks Group of New York, a highly experienced and successful private equity firm that invests in fast-growing companies.
"We will always work toward being a great company," CEO Will Friend said this morning, "but here's the market saying it. We were humbled by the amount of interest our business received, but in the end we identified one particular group as the perfect partner as we proceed to the next level."
With bold plans for the future, including expansion abroad starting this summer, Friend added, "This will be an extraordinary new phase and Wicks knows exactly how to help accelerate our growth."
On a company-wide call to its 80 employees this morning, founder Mark Bisnow, who exited the CEO role in 2013, gave credit to his successor Ryan Begelman for creating the structure "that supercharged our expansion and sophistication."
Bisnow said, "Ryan led our team in creating a phenomenal must-read news platform and must-attend events platform across North America" for the commercial real estate community. "It is astonishing what Ryan and others did, and now we can see expert outsiders recognizing and validating the achievement."
Bisnow today operates in 30 cities, has 650,000 subscribers and hosts 300 events a year.
Friend took over as CEO in late 2014 after two years as the company's COO; Begelman continued as vice chairman. "Will outperformed every goal, and we are confident that will become their pattern year after year. There is dramatic upside to this business and to what Will and his team can accomplish."
Begelman and Bisnow are leaving the company but are proud to remain fans. "One day the first phase will be looked at as just a beginning—we are excited to have launched a company into the real world, and now a fresh team will take it to the stars," Begelman said.
Bisnow was co-founded by Mark Bisnow and his son Elliott in 2005. Begelman, a veteran of the Carlyle Group, joined in 2009 as COO. Fortune Magazine reported on the news this morning.