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Ariel Alternatives' Project Black Acquires Multicultural Media Firm My Code At $400M Valuation

Ariel Alternatives has purchased the multicultural media and marketing services firm My Code, its third acquisition under Project Black.

My Code Logo

According to Black Enterprise, the private equity arm of Ariel Investments, Ariel Alternatives, purchased close to a 60% stake in My Code from other investors, which includes the private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners and other shareholders at an enterprise valuation of $400 million. The sellers, though, will retain a minority stake in My Code.

Still, Project Black is far from done when it comes to acquiring other media outlets. The fund aims to pursue six to 10 middle market platform companies thanks to revenues between $100 million and $1 billion.

The latest deal occurred thanks to Project Black, which is a $1.45 billion inaugural private equity fund Ariel Alternatives uses to purchase businesses that are and are not now minority-owned.

The goal of the fund is to transform those companies into “certified minority business enterprises that can serve as suppliers of scale to Fortune 500 companies.” The purchase is the fund’s first acquisition in the advertising and marketing space.

My Code, which was founded in 2015, aims to find solutions for brands that “meet the rapidly growing need for multicultural marketing based on provided materials." Right now, it has a network of over 1,200 publishing partners that reach out to diverse audiences, with one being the 110-year-old El Diario, the U.S.’s oldest Spanish-language newspaper. The firm affirms it has gained “differentiated access and insights to diverse consumer groups, including Hispanic and Black audiences."

“We chose to partner with a business that shares our passion for speaking directly to diverse audiences, ultimately closing the racial information and opportunity gap,” said Leslie Brun, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Ariel Alternatives. “We will work hard to scale My Code by providing access to both capital and customers.”

Ariel Investments, which is No. 1 on the BE Asset Managers list, has close to $15 billion in assets under management. The Chicago-based Ariel is the nation’s first Black-owned mutual fund firm, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023. President and co-CEO of Ariel Investments, Mellody Hobson, is the co-founder of Ariel Alternatives.

According to JP Morgan Chase, she has been the Co-CEO of Ariel Investments since 2019.

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