The Ins and Outs of PR Today
Sard Verbinnen Negotiating to Sell 40% Ownership
Sard Verbinnen & Company, a renowned PR firm founded in 1992 and specializing in mergers, acquisitions, and all things Wall Street is talking with Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, to sell a 40 percent ownership stake for $60 million.
The deal, however, is currently delayed after a number of employees resigned during the past week because of issues with the negotiations. These included 3 of the 27 directors of the firm. As currently understood, Golden Gate would value the PR firm at approximately $150 million and along with buying the 40% ownership, Golden Gate will invest an additional $50 million for expansion projects. There is also room for Golden Gate to take complete control of the firm in the future.
SVC has offices in New York, London, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and has represented clients such as Sherman Williams Valspar, SanDisk, United Airlines, and Time Warner Cable.
Canada’s National PR Acquires Shift Communications
National PR, a part of the PR holding company, RES Publica, based in Canada and including offices In Europe and the U.K., has closed the year-long deal buying Shift Communications, giving them several new offices in the U.S. Shift Communications brings National their offices in San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Austin. Clients of the company include GoDaddy, McDonald’s, Citrix, and Whole Foods.
Shift founder Todd Defren moved the agency to an employee stock ownership program in 2012, meaning the 150 employees of the firm will be receiving a payout because of this sale. Shift was founded 14 years ago and created the first “social media press release.”
Defren said, “This is a deal that began – and crossed the finish line – because, from our first meeting, we recognized an immediate alignment on values, culture, and vision.” He also noted there are no “substantial” changes expected moving forward.
5WPR adds ContentWatch to Client Roster
ContentWatch, makers of Net Nanny, just joined 5WPR’s group of innovative Tech and Parenting clients. 5WPR, one of the top 20 independent PR firms, is headquartered in New York City and continues to move clients forward with innovative efforts. Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, said, “As the company continues to expand its services, our Tech and Parenting practices will position Net Nanny as the ground-breaking leader in the digital parenting category, helping to manage children’s online content and behaviors.”
Net Nanny helps families protect and manage experiences of family members on Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS systems. It gives spouses, parents, teachers, and other leaders the ability to visually manage online content and allows parents remote access to change or control settings, profiles, alerts, and reports of usage.
MWWPR and Ogilvy signed as AORs offering PR for The Lisa Colagrassi Foundation
Todd Crawford, founder and Exec. Director for TLCF, said “Most people don’t realize there are warning signs for brain aneurysms and that lives can be saved. Even though we are just beginning, we are proud to share that we have already saved at least 8 lives through our awareness efforts. We are thrilled to have two of the top PR firms in the world partnering with us as we set out to make brain aneurysms part of the national healthcare dialogue and today’s announcement represents the first in a series by TLCF that will be game-changing for the entire industry.”
Danielle Alvarez named new VP of PR for Mercury’s Florida office
Alvarez, a Florida native, brings a great deal of experience to this new opportunity working with Mercury, primarily a public affairs firm. Among her work previously, she served as the Press Secretary for Lt. Governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera (a bilingual position) and as the Statewide Events Coordinator for the 2014 re-election of Governor Rick Scott.
Mercury’s founding partner and CEO, Kieran Mahoney, said, “Mercury continues to build Florida’s premier, bipartisan public affairs firm and Danielle brings a combination of communications and political experience that will be an asset to our team in the Sunshine State. … We’re excited about our growth and thrilled to add Danielle to our team of talented professionals.