Golden Gate Capital Aims To Sell Symon

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Symon Communications Inc. is for sale and can be yours for as little as USD 80 million we believe. We gave readers two clues a few weeks ago to see if anyone could figure out who the following was…

  1. This company sells digital signage (rather well as it happens) but is hampered by a guy who works for them who thinks that it (digital signage) sucks
  2. The only marketing done by said company is done by said man marketing himself

We obviously made it far too easy (the hyperlinks were not in the original post). Next time we do a pop quiz we will make it a little harder.

Many folks called, emailed and commented and agreed with what we said above, most comments being along the lines of “seems like a smart guy but his head is just thoroughly in another line of business” (i.e. mobile) when referring to Steve Gurley, VP of Marketing at Symon Communications.

Golden Gate Capital completed the acquisition of Symon Communications back in October 2005. If they sold now and for USD 80 Million they’d probably make a handsome profit. Symon of course won’t comment officially about a sale (or not) but we hear elsewhere that Golden Gate Capital are keen to dispose of all non-industrial assets so this sort of makes sense.

There’s no doubt that Golden Gate has enabled Symon to grow into a profitable (and almost global) company through acquisitions and organic growth over the past few years.

Like all valuations that 80 million is quite presumptive since valuations simply are not more than 2x unless they have some things hidden.  We understand that Symon Communications revenue for 2008 was USD 43.8M and 2009 revenue was 38.4M

The value in Symon is that they have consistently worked to build recurring revenue streams which would of course support a (nice) multiple BUT unless there is something to explain the revenue shrinkage (okay recession perhaps but many other vendors were flat that year and not down) AND they have a big 2010 in the bag, we think they’d be mighty lucky to get 50 – 60 Million.

4 Responses to “Golden Gate Capital Aims To Sell Symon”

  1. Scared Says:

    Hmmm. Would this comany be Symon Communications by any chance?
    For sale? 80 million? We did not know this.
    I wonder if the employees at Symon have heard the news?
    Would leadership do the responsible, caring, and ethical thing by letting the employees know this? Perhaps this is just another case of take the money and run, screw the employees. I’m sure they could stuff their pillow cases with the money they get from the sale and sleep just fine knowing all those people are out of work. Typical.
    As for the the marketing guy: would this be a guy by the last name of Gurley? Steve Gurley? marketing himself? Well sure, if the company will be sold, what else would a executive do?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Let’s see…. revenue declining, and the marketing strategy includes publicly questioning the viability of the prevailing digital signage models, not attending the two largest digital signage trade shows, and instead attending an ink-and-paper sign show and a cellular show. Sales team must be ecstatic. Pretty easy to see where cost savings can be found after a discounted purchase.

  3. Murrow Integrity Says:

    I was not aware Symon was for sale until reading your blog. I’d be curious to know the source of your information. However, if the fabrication of this information is based purely on a grudge – the State of Texas is pretty stern in pursing slanderous statements which demonstrate defamation of character. Care to revise your blog?

  4. John Says:

    Assuming Revenue x EBITDA % x 4 to 5 Trailing Revenue Multiple = Current Market Value
    30% EBITDA = $46M to $58M
    40% EBITDA = $61M to $77M
    50% EBITDA = $77M to $96M

    If they are profitable, their EBITDA could be close to 50% and if their 2010 revenue is greater than 2008 and if there are muliple buyers, $80M is out of the realm of posssiblity.

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