Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (UIG) announced today the merger of Latin Force LLC, a Hispanic marketing strategy firm, with Geoscape International Inc., the leading multicultural consumer intelligence and data analytics company. UIG is a substantial investor in Latin Force Group, the merged entity. Terms of the investments were not disclosed.
In December 2006, UIG and Latin Force CEO, David J. Perez announced an agreement to acquire leading firms in the Hispanic marketing services space. “This transaction is the first following that agreement and creates the leader in integrated marketing services targeting the U.S. Hispanic consumer. It is a natural first step in a broader growth strategy,” said Goldman Sachs Managing Director Kevin Jordan, “The merged company will provide its existing and future customers with a clear competitive advantage in reaching America’s fastest growing demographic.” The investment follows a record year in 2006 for advertising spending in Spanish-language media at over $5.5 billion. This growth represents a 14.4% year-over-year increase across all Hispanic-focused media.
The new company, Latin Force Group, provides integrated marketing services for over a quarter of the Fortune 100. Through a wide suite of products and services, Latin Force Group enables corporations to leverage their customer relationship data to better identify and service ethnic consumers. “Our industry leading products identify and segment customer data by ethnicity, acculturation, media preferences as well as consumer spending patterns,” said Cesar Melgoza, founder of Geoscape and now Managing Director of Latin Force Group.
The Latin Force Group will inherit Geoscape’s proprietary web-based platform, which draws upon highly accurate database engines to reveal cultural attributes via dynamic segmentation, demographics and consumer spending data. David J. Perez, CEO of Latin Force said, “This is an exciting first step in building out a full-service, integrated marketing company. The combination of Latin Force’s strategy consulting and Geoscape’s market intelligence data and systems form a unique and solid foundation for accelerated growth and future acquisitions.” Perez continues, “Geoscape founder, Cesar Melgoza, has built a smart, dynamic company with world class products. I’m thrilled to have him and his staff as partners in our common vision.”
Latin Force Group will operate from offices in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. All current staff will remain in place with plans to make a number of strategic hires in sales, finance and consulting immediately. Geoscape Europe BV and Geoscape Brasil LTDA will continue operations as affiliated strategic partners.
About Latin Force Group:
Latin Force Group is a strategy and market intelligence firm that provides cultural insights, consumer intelligence, go-to-market plans, databases, technology and analytics to help our clients achieve significant growth with America’s new mainstream consumers. The firm is headquartered in New York City with offices in Miami and Los Angeles. Among our diverse list of clients are: Allstate, Bank of America, Best Buy, Cranium, Direct TV, Epic Records, Humana, H&R Block, HSBC, ING, Kraft Foods, MTV, the NFL, Nickelodeon Networks, Toyota, Univision and Wells Fargo. To learn more about the Latin Force Group, please visit www.latinforce.net.
About Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group:
The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group is part of the Merchant Banking Division within The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS), that invests capital in ethnic minority-owned or targeted businesses and urban real estate. Founded in 1869, Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in Miami, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.
Related Article: Goldman Sachs’ Hispanic Strategy (Dec. 2006)