Public Relations Agencies Bought & Sold
As 2015 comes to an end, a lot of big moves. Here’s a summary of some major PR moves:
Next Fifteen in Process of Making Big Digital Agency Acquisition
A steadily growing holding company, Next Fifteen already includes large companies like Bite, M Booth, OutCast, Lexis and The Blueshirt Group. On December 8, the firm released a statement that it planned to buy yet another company – “a small digital agency based in the UK for an initial cash consideration of £3.8m [$5.7m]”.
The statement continued to say, “It is intended that the acquisition would be funded by a placing of new ordinary shares representing up to five per cent of the company’s issued share capital with the remainder of the net proceeds being allocated by Next 15 to fund other acquisition and investment opportunities in the near term.”
“A further announcement will be made in due course,” the statement ended. No company was named, but it’s safe to say Next Fifteen is looking to grow even more.
Edelman Acquires Ergo Kommunikation
Edelman recently acquired German independent firm Ergo Kommunikation, whose reported income of $13m in 2014 brings Edelman’s acquisitions to $37m in Germany. It also adds 100 people in the existing Ergo firm to Edelman’s numbers. This makes the combined Edelman.ergo entity 350 persons strong.
Edelman’s Germany CEO, Susanne Marell, leads Edelman.ergo. Not surprisingly, the firm established its headquarters in Cologne, Germany, where she already earned years of experience. Ergo founders, Hans Ulrich Helzer and Tobias Mündeman, join Marell as part of the senior leadership team. Former Ergo CEO, Astrid von Rudloff, acts as the new chief client relations officer.
The acquisition represents Edelman’s fourth European deal in the past 18 months under Europe CEO, Michael Stewart. It comes after acquiring Deportivo (Sweden), Agence Elan (France) and Smithfield (UK). In addition, the firm bought Dubai’s Dabo & Co earlier this year.
Pan Acquires Vantage
Boston based marketing and communications firm, PAN Communications announced its acquisition of award winning San Francisco-based tech PR agency Vantage PR.
Pan Communications is an integrated marketing communications firm. The firm leverages data-driven PR, content and digital media for technology, healthcare and consumer tech clients. In acquiring Vantage, PAN grows to more than 100 employees and $13.5 million in annual revenue.
In addition to the agency’s Boston headquarters, the acquisition provides PAN with multiple office locations in key growth markets, such as, San Francisco, Orlando, and New York City.
The acquisition of Vantage PR develops PAN’s aggressive growth strategy, solidifying its position as an independent, mid-sized communications agency. The move also bolsters PAN’s executive leadership and account teams and client rosters. PAN can now refocus in the areas of clean tech, consumer tech, healthcare, and emerging markets, such as, AI (artificial intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things).
Omnicom Wins Procter & Gamble’s Account for Media Buying
Procter & Gamble, the biggest advertising spender in the world, plans to move most of its media-buying and planning account in North America to Omnicom Group. This is one of the year’s biggest transactions to date, with multiple firms looking to win the account.
P&G was formerly handled by Publicis Groupe’s Starcom Mediavest Group for over fifteen years. Omnicom Media Group plans to handle media planning and buying responsibilities for a large portion of P&G’s product categories. Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat, who worked with P&G’s roster in the past, will take over the rest of the clients.
It has not yet been determined which agency will be responsible for which categories. But the categories available include products in fabric care, home care and family care. Omnicom Media Group is expected to create a new media buying firm to work on the new account.