Investment Firm Backed by Dan Gilbert Acquires Robb Report

NEW YORK (The Deal)-- Rockbridge Growth Equity, a private equity firm backed by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, agreed Wednesday to acquire luxury lifestyle magazine publisher Robb Report.

The investment by Detroit, Mich.-based Rockbridge will allow Robb Report to grow the digital business, said Brian Hermelin, managing partner of the private equity firm. "We expect to grow in the international markets," he said. "We had been searching for a while in the media space. They are an authority in so many different categories."

Rockbridge was founded in 2007 by Hermelin, Kevin Prokop and Gilbert, who in addition to owning Cleveland's professional basketball franchise, is founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

Bill Curtis, CEO of Robb Report, added: "We are approached all the time. There is money to be found everywhere, but it's hard to find smart money and smart people. It was clear, after spending time with Brian, that this was a good match."

Curtis said the editors are excited as they will be able to expand the digital footprint. "The amount of content we are going to be capable to put online will multiply tenfold," he said.

Plans are underway for Robb Report to open a new downtown Detroit office to support its expanding technology, digital media and sales initiatives.

"We want people to be able to choose how they interact with the Robb Report brand digitally," said Curtis. He mentioned apps, smartphone platform saying this will help readers inform, inspire and connect with the products and experiences that are a part of the Robb lifestyle.

The Robb Report brand has been around for 40 years. It is in 14 international markets and in nine languages. It currently has offices in New York, Massachusetts and Florida. There are 110 employees.

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