McCracken Named 2017 Most Trusted M&A Investment Banking Firm – USA

We are proud to once again be named Most Trusted M&A Investment Banking Firm – USA by Acquisition International. This prestigious award recognizes our commitment to our clients and the important transactions in the Advertising, Marketing Services, Media and Marketing Technology sectors upon which we have advised over the last year.

Acquisition International’s prestigious M&A Awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate the outstanding efforts of all those involved in identifying, coordinating and completing the all-important deals which have the potential to change the fate of businesses and industries.

Each and every nomination is subject to a lengthy and in-depth assessment process, designed to separate the truly remarkable from their peers. We are immensely grateful to our clients and contacts who nominated us for this award.

Periscope Continuing US Expansion with Acquisition of Chicago Based Anthem Marketing Solutions

Independent agency adds full-service Chicago office, bolsters existing team and deepens data and analytics capabilities.

Minneapolis, MN – June 16, 2017 – McCracken Advisory Partners, advised Periscope, one of the top five independent agencies in the nation with its acquisition of Anthem Marketing Solutions, a Chicago based, data-driven marketing agency. The acquisition is in line with Periscope’s growth strategy in all areas, coming off the heels of a creative hiring boom and new business wins such as Essentia Water, Woodford Reserve and the Minnesota Lottery.

Anthem, a firm that has deep experience in diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytics, also has experience in database marketing, journey mapping and loyalty services. Their retail client expertise is a perfect fit with Periscope’s clientele and integrated abilities.

“Periscope has prided itself on being an integrated, creatively driven full service agency; bringing in the Anthem team bolsters our data and analytics capabilities and is important for both us as an agency, and for our clients to stay competitive,” said Liz Ross, CEO of Periscope. “We’re fortunate enough to be an independent agency that is nimble enough to make investments like this, and continue to grow on our own terms.”

With the acquisition of Anthem, Periscope adds both data and analytics strategy expertise, and the knowledge of Anthem’s leadership team; Founder John Keenan previously worked with agencies like Wunderman and Leo Burnett, and partner Chris Carroll helped shift the brand’s focus to serving clients with big data analysis needs. Keenan will be joining Periscope’s executive committee in the newly created role of EVP/Marketing Analytics, and will lead the growing analytics team from Chicago. Carroll will become Managing Director of the Chicago office.

“Periscope is one of the best partners we could find in this industry, and to take this journey with,” said John Keenan, new EVP/Marketing Analytics at Periscope. “We were impressed with their vision and leadership; Periscope being an independent Midwest firm was perfectly suited for our goals and mindset, and being able to combine our capabilities with an integrated firm made sense for our future.”

Periscope will be evolving the existing Anthem Chicago office into a full-service Periscope arm, providing services for current Chicago based clients, and complementing the current analytics offerings out of Minneapolis.

ABOUT PERISCOPE
Periscope is one of the largest independent creative agencies in the nation and offers a full spectrum of marketing services to a wide range of acclaimed brands, including Arctic Cat, Autotrader, BASF, Best Buy, Bridgestone, Cox Communications, ExxonMobil, Great Clips, Kelley Blue Book, Petco, Target, Toro, Trolli, UnitedHealth Group, Walgreens, Welch’s and more.

 

2016 Most Trusted M&A Investment Banking Firm – USA

We are proud to have been named as the 2016 Most Trusted M&A Investment Banking Firm – USA by Acquisition International. This prestigious award recognizes our commitment to our clients and the important M&A transactions in the Marcom sector upon which we have advised over the last year.

Acquisition International’s prestigious M&A Awards, now in their fifth year, celebrate the outstanding efforts of all those involved in identifying, coordinating and completing the all-important deals which have the potential to change the fate of businesses and industries.

Each and every nomination is subject to a lengthy and in-depth assessment process, designed to separate the truly remarkable from their peers. We are very grateful to our clients and contacts who nominated us for this award.

ZAMBEZI – Management Buyout Completed

Zambezi, the Venice, California based sports and entertainment marketing agency has been acquired by its senior management.

Zambezi is a top notch sports and entertainment marketing agency handling activation and consumer engagement for many leading brands.

M&A firm McCracken Advisory Partners advised CEO Chris Raih throughout the process leading to the transaction. The deal represents the third transaction of 2015 in as many months for the Minneapolis based McCracken, which also has capabilities in Los Angeles, New York and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Piston Gears Up And Goes Global With LEWIS

Acquisition adds digital advertising to integrated communications proposition.

San Diego, CA – Monday, March 2, 2015 – LEWIS PR, the global communications agency, has acquired Piston, a full service digital agency based in San Diego, CA. Piston specializes in digital marketing including search engine and display advertising, media planning and buying, analytics and creative design services. Piston’s clients include AAA, AARP, BareMinerals, Cars.com, Intuit, Inspirato, Mophie, Shiseido, SkullCandy, Sunglass Hut, TVG and Yakult. LEWIS now has global revenues in excess of $72 million, with combined US revenues of more than $37 million.

Lewis PR Acquired PistonThe deal strengthens LEWIS’ digital capabilities moving it firmly into paid media advertising and deepening its creative and analytics services. Piston gets access to LEWIS’ global network of 28 offices. Piston will operate under LEWIS Pulse, the agency’s digital marketing arm, alongside prior web design acquisition, Purestone in the UK.

Piston was founded by Michael Chaney, CEO and John Hartman, President in 2008. Hartman will continue to run Piston as a division with Chaney taking a non-executive role. Hartman will report into SVP of LEWIS Pulse, Stephen Corsi. Piston currently has 50 people based in San Diego.

“Our clients are looking for integrated communications campaigns. We’re seeing a huge uptick in demand for paid media programs – search engine marketing, online advertising, mobile programs,” said Stephen Corsi, SVP at LEWIS Pulse. “Piston combines the three things you need to get that right – strong creative, strategic media buying at scale with deep analytics. Piston works with tier one brands, and has a reputation which rivals the establishment. Together we’ll disrupt the industry much faster.”

“We are thrilled to join the LEWIS family. Both LEWIS and Piston are heavily focused on raising awareness, driving lead generation and sales enablement for clients, so there’s a great fit,” said John Hartman, President of Piston. “It’s not just lip-service, LEWIS is one of the few agencies that can offer a truly integrated approach, spanning PR, digital marketing, advertising and marketing consultancy services.”

“This deal with Piston fits our strategy to have the scale in the US to handle any client campaign, and to broaden our service proposition especially in digital. Where the oligarch firms have advertising and PR agencies at arms length, even competing for revenue, we’re offering a more agile and integrated approach,” said Chris Lewis, CEO of LEWIS. “I’d like to welcome Piston to the LEWIS family. We’re excited to have a stronger proposition for clients, and more career opportunities for staff as a result.”

The deal closed on February 20, 2015. The specific terms of the deal are undisclosed. In 2014, Piston had revenues of $8.4m. Prior LEWIS acquisitions include Leads United, PageOne PR, DMG, Purestone and EBA. LEWIS is actively looking for and in negotiation with further potential acquisitions. LEWIS was advised by McCracken Advisory Partners.

About the Deal

The deal is the first in what is expected to be a series of acquisitions to be made by LEWIS in 2015/16. These are being driven by a new $27m tranche of funding for growth provided by HSBC triggered by this deal.

About Piston

Piston is a full service digital agency based in San Diego, CA. Piston specializes in digital marketing including search engine and display advertising, media planning and buying, analytics and creative design services. Piston is the winner of the 2014 iMedia Small Agency of the Year Award, 2014 San Diego Advertising Association Best of Show Award, 5 National American Advertising Federation Awards and is on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies List. Piston’s clients include AAA, AARP, Avoya Travel, BareMinerals, Cars.com, Intuit, Inspirato, Mophie, Shiseido, SkullCandy, Sunglass Hut, TVG and Yakult.

About Lewis

LEWIS PR is a global communications agency with a 20-year track record of excellent client service. Average growth during this time has been in excess of 25% per annum. In 2014, the company grew 40% (16% organic). This year, annualized billings will be in excess of $100m for the first time in the company’s history.

In addition to traditional media and analyst relations, LEWIS specializes in social media, digital marketing and creative services. It works with companies to implement integrated communications programs on an international scale. LEWIS works with leading and emerging brands across multiple sectors, including automotive, consumer, government, healthcare, insurance, legal, non-profit, technology and telecom. LEWIS has 28 offices across the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific, with regional headquarters in London, San Francisco and Singapore.

About McCracken Advisory Partners

McCracken Advisory Partners is an Investment Banking firm specializing in Mergers and Acquisitions in Marketing Services, Technologies and Media with capabilities in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Sao Paulo.

Havas Worldwide Canada Acquires Mobile Agency Plastic

Havas Worldwide Canada bolstered its mobile offering, announcing it has acquired Canadian agency Plastic Mobile.

Plastic will now offer its services to Havas’ clients as part of the Havas Village model, which sees all of its assets in creative, digital and media working together under a single organization and collaborating as needed. While the acquisition places Plastic under the control of the Canadian branch, the agency will deliver work across North America, as many of Havas’ other companies do.

Founded in 2007, the Toronto-based mobile agency has been focusing on developing native apps for its clients based around transactional experiences, like loyalty programs or m-commerce, since about 2011. Plastic also has a small office in New York that is also part of the acquisition. McCracken Advisory Partners (http://www.mccrackenap.com) advised Plastic on the transaction.

“The app space started to blossom, so we started moving towards…providing a richer experience for marketers and brands [for] their customers,” says Melody Adhami, president of Plastic Mobile. “Being part of the Havas Network gives us global resources, footprint and scale I think mobile deserves at this point. Mobile was something people were just tinkering around with five or six years ago, but now it’s become a huge force, so a network like Havas taking advantage of this is a great move for the both of us.”

Alex Chepovetsky, president at Havas Worldwide Digital Canada, says Havas already had strengths in mobile web development in Canada, but says the main motivator behind the acquisition was Plastic’s track record on the native app development and user experience sides. He says Havas has now “shot straight into that space” and built upon the small team it had working on native development.

“The powerful thing about Plastic is its integration component,” he adds. “If you look at work they’ve done for Air Miles or Pizza Pizza, they’re entirely integrated with everything else, especially with loyalty programs. It’s a catalogue, it’s a points engine, it’s loyalty, it’s couponing. It’s everything you’d expect and want from a modern mobile commerce offering.”

Chepovetsky says Havas is demand-driven, and demand in native apps has been rising over the last six to eight months. Helen Pak, president and CCO at Havas Worldwide Canada, says the expertise at Plastic prevents Havas from missing an increasingly vital component of how consumers are communicating and the creative possibilities it brings.

“Quite honestly, there has been a lag, because although we’ve been talking mobile for many years, I don’t think we’ve understood the sheer power of it,” she says. “I think we had the capability, but now it has become exponentially better and we absolutely need to have that in our core competency. As we give briefs to our teams, knowing we can come up with a creative idea that is unlocked through mobile is really exciting.”

The acquisition also primes Havas to attract new clients, she says. “Certain clients are asking for it, so we want to be ahead of that curve.” The deal grows Havas to 225 employees between Toronto and Montreal. The Plastic team will still be run by Adhami and CEO Sep Seyedi.

exerpted from a Strategic Magazine article

LEWIS Opens for Business in China with Acquisition of EBA Communications

Doubles size of Asia Pacific presence with offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai

Hong Kong, June 4, 2014 – LEWIS PR, the global PR and digital communications agency, has acquired China PR specialist EBA Communications. The deal will see LEWIS reach US$65 million in combined global revenues this year. LEWIS PR was advised by McCracken Advisory Partners.

Founded by journalist Euan Barty, EBA Communications offers communications services in China to technology, consumer and other industries. It employs 50 staff across four offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Clients include Citrix, Gartner, Honeywell, Infineon, LINE, Regus, Tourism Australia, TE Connectivity and Universal Robots.

The LEWIS APAC network now covers eight offices: Bangalore, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. Claudia Choi, currently MD of EBA Communications will spearhead the combined growth plans in a new role as VP, Greater China. Euan Barty will continue in an advisory role following the acquisition.

The EBA mainland China offices will continue to operate autonomously as EBA Communications, a wholly-owned LEWIS company. The EBA Hong Kong office will merge with the LEWIS local office.

Quotes

EBA pioneered communications for global companies in China,” said Andy Oliver, Senior Vice President, LEWIS APAC. “The agency has a strong client base with many Fortune 500 clients. This heritage, knowledge and credibility is unmatched by any other agency in China and will be a strong addition to LEWIS’ proposition globally.”

“This is great news for EBA, its staff and clients. It gives us access to a thriving, fast-growing international agency network which has a demonstrable track record,” said Euan Barty, founder of EBA Communications. “We believe this offers the alignment of independence, culture, enthusiasm, creativity and career opportunities to help us develop our business.”

“LEWIS is one of the few global independent communications agencies,” said Claudia Choi, VP, Greater China at EBA Communications. “It is ambitious and fast-growing with a clear vision. We are especially keen to roll out the digital marketing services from LEWIS Pulse.”

“We’re on a mission to offer an alternative to the oligarchy of conglomerate-owned agencies that dominates our industry,” said Chris Lewis, Founder and CEO of LEWIS. “This is a significant milestone in our growth. It doubles our strength in APAC and opens up huge opportunities for us, both in Asia and globally. We expect business to cascade across our network, creating more opportunities for both staff and clients.”

About LEWIS PR

LEWIS PR is a global communications agency. In addition to traditional media and analyst relations, LEWIS specializes in social media, digital marketing and creative services. It works with companies to implement integrated communications programs on an international scale. LEWIS works with leading and emerging brands across multiple sectors, including automotive, consumer, government, healthcare, insurance, legal, non-profit, technology and telecom. LEWIS has more than 25 wholly-owned offices across the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific, with regional headquarters in London, San Francisco and Singapore.

Independent Marketing Agencies Resource and Ammirati Combine To Form New Company

McCracken Advisory Partners serves as exclusive advisor to Resource

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Resource, the country’s largest privately-held digital marketing firm, today announced plans to acquire New York-based creative agency Ammirati. The move brings together two entrepreneurial and proudly independent companies to create a new breed creative agency with 400+ associates spanning five offices, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati and Columbus, which will serve as headquarters for the combined entity.

The acquisition is a first for Resource, founded in 1981 with Apple as its first client by Nancy Kramer, who will serve as Chairman of the new agency.

“This is a significant next step in our 33-year journey,” said Kramer, who was ranked among Ad Age’s 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising. “We’re thrilled to have found in Ammirati a ‘kindred spirit’—we have like-minded and complementary cultures on a number of levels and are excited about the promise of this partnership.”

Founded in 2002 by Matthew Ammirati, Ammirati has distinguished itself as a sought-after partner for its nimble and creative solutions to client’s business problems, most recently working with Jerry Seinfeld on the first-of-its-kind web series ComediansInCarsGettingCoffee.com and launching a new ad campaign for beer client Labatt during the Super Bowl.

“In Resource I’ve found a partner who is as passionate as I am about delivering breakthrough results for our clients. This new collective gives us all additional capabilities to deliver even more creatively driven solutions on a much grander scale while still remaining fiercely independent,” said Ammirati, who will serve as Creative Chairman.

Resource CEO Kelly Mooney will serve as CEO of the combined company. Said Mooney: “Speed, agility and an all-in attitude are huge competitive advantages for independents like Resource and Ammirati. This alliance augments our collective capabilities, plus keeps us nimble and entrepreneurial at a time when the industry — and our clients — demand it. We look forward to partnering with Matthew and his team to integrate both firms to create a powerful, new-breed creative agency.”

Over the last three decades, Resource has been a consumer-centric marketing pioneer, from famously “breaking the internet” in 1999 with the world’s first live webcast of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, to recently debuting the first Google Glass app for a major consumer brand, Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Glass. While it remains a world-class digital innovator, it has expanded beyond digital over the past two years, strategically adding new leadership from agencies such as JWT, Leo Burnett and R/GA and picking up lead agency assignments for clients like Shaw Flooring and United Dairy Farmers.

The two agencies are complementary on a number of levels. The move pairs Resource’s strategic digital, social, innovation and eCommerce expertise with Ammirati’s brand strategy, advertising, design/packaging and shopper marketing experience. The agency’s combined client roster will span an impressive and diverse number of CPG, retail, technology and food & beverage clients, such as: B-Corp, Coca-Cola (Fuse, vitaminwater, Gold Peak Tea), Jerry Seinfeld, North American Breweries (Labatt, Seagram’s), Nintendo, Pirate’s Booty, Remy Cointreau, Schwinn and Sweet’N Low/In the Raw (from Ammirati) and Clorox, CVS, HP, Kohl’s, Nestle, P&G, Sherwin-Williams and Victoria’s Secret (from Resource).

A new name for the combined company will be introduced in the coming months. Advisors on the deal were McCracken Advisory Partners for Resource and Palazzo Investment Bankers for Ammirati.

About Resource: Resource is the country’s largest independent, digitally led marketing agency, with 350 employees and offices in Columbus, Chicago, Cincinnati and San Francisco. We build OPEN Brands that empower consumers and deliver results through creativity, technology and content. Marketers such as Clorox, CVS, HP, Kohl’s, Nestle, PetSmart, P&G, Sherwin-Williams and Victoria’s Secret turn to us for our ability to turn digitally connected consumers into passionate brand advocates. Resource is a member of Worldwide Partners, Inc. (WPI), the world’s largest international network of independent marketing communications firms.

About Ammirati: Ammirati is a New York-based, independent marketing company that creatively solves business problems for their clients. Delivering solutions that are always memorable, simple and most importantly, effective, Ammirati serves as a strategic partner with core capabilities in advertising, design, interactive and shopper marketing.  Its client base ranges from major consumer goods companies to start-ups and includes clients such as Coca-Cola, North American Breweries (Labatt, Seagram’s), Nintendo, Pirate’s Booty, Remy Cointreau, Sweet’N Low/In the Raw and Jerry Seinfeld among others.

iris Launches in Brazil

We are pleased to announce that our client, iris Worldwide, a global creative innovation network, has acquired a majority interest in Router, the São Paulo, Brazil based digital and experiential agency.

The deal comes as a result of increased demand from some of iris’ biggest clients, including adidas, Shell and Diageo, as well as, being an important piece of an overall strategic plan for growth in the region.

Stewart Shanley, Joint Chief Executive of iris Worldwide, said, “Brazil is a strategic market for both the Latin American region and our global network, as well as, a hotbed of creativity. Additionally, our ambition is that our global clients will begin working with our São Paulo office, giving them access to the best of both worlds…an exciting and local owner managed business coupled with all the strength in depth derived from collaboration with an independent global creative innovation network.”

The investment will see iris open its 15th office across the globe and third in Latin America with a 40-strong operation in São Paulo. This will take iris’ presence in the Americas to six offices and over 150 staff.
McCracken’s São Paulo based partner, Rogerio Campos, took the regional lead for this buy-side mandate.

With offices in Minneapolis, New York and São Paulo, McCracken Advisory Partners provides mergers and acquisitions consulting and transactional advisory services to the marketing services, media and technology industries with expertise in both national and international transactions.

Keith McCracken
Managing  Partner                               
keith@mccrackenap.com         
+1(952) 922-8140

McCracken Awarded Marcom M&A Advisory Firm of the Year – USA

marcomMcCracken has distinguished itself as one of the top mergers and acquisitions advisors in the marketing services, media and technology sectors for a reason. We bring unrivaled wisdom, hands-on transaction advice, market knowledge and precise attention to detail to everything we do. Why is precision so important? While others often rush to simplify, we embrace complication. We dig deeper, build stronger relationships, ask tougher questions and relentlessly pursue complete answers to optimize the value of every aspect of the transaction. Buying and selling a company is about more than money. Price is only the beginning. Cultural fit is crucial. Optimizing earn-out is critical. We live this truth and customize our time-tested approach and proven process to help each client grow or sell their business to achieve extraordinary results.

McCracken is a licensed merger and acquisition investment-banking firm. We provide personalized counsel to our clients through skilled and thoughtful mergers and acquisitions analysis, advising them through their organic growth trajectories, acquisition ambitions and eventual exit strategies.

Years of investment banking and hands-on experience as principals in the marketing communications industry sets us apart from other investment banking firms in our sector. Our business brokering expertise extends from our keen understanding of the client-driven, culture-critical and people-centric aspects of the business – the very factors that often define the outcome of a successful deal and mutually rewarding post-transaction relationship.

With specialized expertise in the marketing communications, interactive marketing, new media and technologies sectors, McCracken partners have a wealth of experience in both buy-side and sell-side transactions. We’re familiar with the unique challenges each represents. Our thorough approach to research, delicate touch during the screening process and astute brokering capabilities maximize the likelihood of a personally and financially successful deal for every client.

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Mobile Media, Tech Deals Up 14%

Across the media, information, marketing, health-care and technology sectors, deal volume in the first half of the year was driven by continued activity in the marketing and interactive services sector.

It accounted for nearly one third of the total deals announced and approximately 25% of transaction value, according to new estimates from Jordan, Edmiston Group.

The mobile media and technology sector increased by 14% in number of deals — up to 82 transactions — and rose in overall deal value by 6%, reaching $2.7 billion, in the first half of 2013.

Notable deals in the second quarter included Google’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Waze; LinkedIn’s acquisition of Pulse, a mobile news aggregation start-up, for $90 million; and Facebook’s acquisition of Parse, a provider of cloud-based software developer kits for mobile devices, for a reported $85 million.

Business-to-consumer online media and technology and healthcare information and technology both fared well, with over 100 deals and over $4 billion in value in the first half of the year, the investment bank reports.

The second quarter of 2013 saw six deals with $1 billion or more in value — after none in the first quarter — including Salesforce.com’s $2.25 billion acquisition of ExactTarget, Google’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Waze, and Yahoo’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr.

Overall, however, the number of deals and value declined in the marketing and interactive services sector in the first half of 2013 compared to the first half of 2012. — by 11% and 17%, respectively,

Yet, the sector continues to be a major driver of M&A activity, with 224 deals accounting for $6.8 billion of value in the first half of 2013, JEGI reports.

See article at mediapost.com

Lewis acquires Boston-based Davies Murphy Group

Global Digital Communications Firm Buys Boston-Headquartered Public Relations and Marketing Consultancy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Jun 10, 2013) – LEWIS PR, a global digital communications firm, has acquired the Davies Murphy Group (DMG), a public relations (P.R.) and marketing consultancy with offices in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. Headquartered in Boston, DMG serves more than 45 top tier clients ranging from early stage startups to the world’s largest technology companies. The transaction deepens the company’s presence on the U.S. East Coast, and adds a broad range of marketing services to its portfolio. LEWIS now has global revenues in excess of $45 million, with combined U.S. revenues of more than $20 million, making it one of the largest independent public relations firms in the U.S.(1)

Eric Davies founded DMG in 1998 and was joined the following year by his business partner, Andy Murphy. Together, the two agency principals built DMG to provide integrated public relations, marketing and business strategy services to technology companies worldwide. Following the deal, DMG will operate as a wholly owned division of LEWIS PR, reporting into LEWIS Executive Vice President Morgan McLintic. Davies and Murphy will continue to lead the 65-strong agency under the DMG name.

“Davies Murphy Group is a P.R. and marketing powerhouse in Boston, with a true focus on exceptional client service. Its rapid growth is being driven by a unique mix of public relations and broader marketing programs that deliver meaningful business results to clients,” McLintic said. “In DMG we have a partner which shares our global vision, our integrated communications approach and our commitment to client success.”

“This acquisition makes a tremendous amount of sense for both DMG’s and LEWIS PR’s clients,” Davies said. “Combining our two organizations creates a truly global agency that can deliver an unmatched range of expert P.R. and marketing services to clients of all sizes, from early-stage startups to the world’s largest enterprises.”

“There can be no clearer statement of our global ambitions than this deal with DMG. This is the third acquisition LEWIS has made in the last five years, and we’re proud to welcome the DMG team,” said Chris Lewis, CEO of LEWIS PR. “For too long, global brands have been starved of a communications partner which is global in its outlook, digital to its core, that offers an integrated approach to marketing. As a challenger itself, LEWIS works with challenger brands around the world to make a real impact.”

The deal closed on May 31, 2013. Specific terms are not being disclosed. In 2012, DMG had revenues of nearly $9 million. LEWIS acquired Page One PR in October 2010 and Leads United in October 2009. LEWIS was advised by McCracken Advisory Partners.

About LEWIS PR

LEWIS PR is a global digital communications agency. In addition to traditional media and analyst relations, LEWIS specializes in social media, digital marketing and creative services. It works with companies to implement integrated communications programs on an international scale. LEWIS works with leading and emerging brands across multiple sectors, including automotive, consumer, government, healthcare, insurance, legal, non-profit, technology and telecom. LEWIS has 25 wholly owned offices across the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific, with regional headquarters in London, San Francisco and Singapore.

About DMG

Davies Murphy Group provides integrated public relations, marketing and business-strategy services to companies worldwide. Founded in 1998, with offices in Boston, London, Munich, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Corvallis, Ore., the firm has built its reputation by providing a comprehensive range of services to clients ranging from high-profile start-ups to global corporations. With a uniquely senior staff and savvy approach to client engagement, Davies Murphy Group has achieved the industry’s highest rate of client retention — the single most important metric of agency quality and client satisfaction. For more information about Davies Murphy Group, please visit www.daviesmurphy.com.

See article at prweekus.com

Keith McCracken interviewed at Holmes Global PR Summit

Digital Marketing Driving M&A Market, WPP Top Suitor

Digital Marketing Driving M&A Market, WPP Top Suitor – July 6, 2012

Questions may loom about the underlying health of the media economy, but at least one facet is experiencing exceptional growth – mergers and acquisitions – especially for marketing services related businesses. In a week in which Publicis announced the acquisition of BBH and its affiliates, and only a couple of weeks after WPP acquired AKQA, investment bank Berkery Noyes has released a mid-year report on the media and marketing industry’s M&A market indicating a voracious appetite for deals.

During the first six months of 2012, the number of transactions jumped to 834, up 6% over the first half of 2011. Total transaction value soared 27% to $31.51 billion.

“Marketing was the most active industry segment for first half 2012, accounting for 262 transactions and surpassing Internet media in transaction volume during the last twelve months,” the report notes, adding, “Although Internet media activity declined 2% compared to second half 2011, it remained 19% above its second half 2010 levels”

Not surprisingly, digital marketing services comprised nearly half (47%) of the deals in the overall marketing sector, which represents a 10% increase in digital marketing services deal volume year-over-year. WPP represented the largest acquirer in the digital marketing sub-segment, as well as in the overall media and marketing industry.

[button url=”http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/178239/digital-marketing-driving-ma-market-wpp-top-suit.html”]See article at mediapost.com[/button]

Uncertainty on Wall Street, Big Deals on Madison Avenue

Robust M&A activity – NY Times- Sept. 16, 2011 (McCrackenAP client Lunchbox noted paragraph three)

See article at nytimes.com

THREE years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers produced worldwide financial disruption, advertising agencies continue to face significant challenges. But Madison Avenue is, by and large, in better shape than many of the industries for which it creates ads.

To be sure, numerous agencies have succumbed to business woes. But no holding company that owns agencies has gone bankrupt. No agency with offices around the world has been forced to close, nor has any big agency in a large market like New York. And agencies are still making deals, actively pursuing mergers and acquisitions.

This summer, for instance, holding companies like Havas, the Publicis Groupe and WPP have announced deals for agencies like Big Fuel, DPZ, Host and Lunchbox.

And on Thursday, Publicis said that it would buy Schwartz Communications, a public relations agency with offices in Boston, London, San Francisco and Stockholm. It was the sixth acquisition of a public relations agency by Publicis in 18 months, according to The Holmes Report, a trade publication.

Another example of the trend will come on Friday, when MDC Partners, which owns agencies like Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners, is to announce the acquisition of majority stakes in two specialty agencies.

One agency, Concentric Pharma Advertising, creates campaigns for pharmaceutical marketers like Bayer, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche. Concentric has 75 employees who work at a headquarters in New York and an office in London.

The other agency, Laird & Partners, is based in New York and also has about 75 employees. It specializes in ads for beauty, fashion and luxury-goods marketers like DKNY, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.

MDC is estimated to be paying $20 million for the majority ownership stakes in both agencies, with additional considerations based on future performance.

The acquisitions are the second and third this year for MDC, which is based in Toronto and owns all or part of about 50 agencies. The previous deal in 2011 involved a New York agency named Anomaly. MDC made 13 acquisitions last year and two in 2009.

“When others are fearful, we are ambitious, and when others are ambitious, we are fearful,” said Miles S. Nadal, chairman and chief executive at MDC. “We see this time of uncertainty as a great opportunity.”

Although “the European debt crisis is a big issue because it’s affecting the confidence of C.E.O.’s everywhere,” Mr. Nadal acknowledged, “business for us has been terrific,” with a 24 percent increase in the first half in organic growth — revenue minus acquisitions and currency exchange — compared with the same period last year.

“We do not see any change in our clients’ patterns of behavior” in recent weeks, Mr. Nadal said. “The spending continues.”

That has encouraged him to pursue a “much more aggressive” acquisition strategy, he added, zeroing in on agencies in the fast-growing realms of digital marketing, social media and analytics; agencies in Asia, Europe and Latin America; and specialty agencies like Concentric and Laird.

Concentric was appealing, Mr. Nadal said, because health care “is obviously a critical area” in marketing. And Laird was appealing, he added, because “fashion, like music, is at the epicenter of pop culture.”

MDC and Concentric came to know each other in the last 18 months after Concentric began working on assignments with MDC agencies like Allison & Partners, Attention Partners and Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal.

“It solidified our belief that MDC was the right partner for us to help accelerate our growth and the growth of our clients’ brands,” said Ken Begasse Jr., who is co-chief executive at Concentric with Michael Sanzen.

“We’re already talking about establishing a satellite office on the West Coast,” he added.

Concentric, which was opened in 2003, had previously entertained offers, Mr. Begasse said, but he and Mr. Sanzen believed MDC’s “entrepreneurial bent” best matched theirs.

An agency “we were in talks with earlier ended up acquiring a different agency,” he added, which “was renamed two times and now no longer exists.” Trey Laird, chief executive and chief creative officer at Laird, which was opened in 2002, said that he, too, had “talked to lots of the different players” in Madison Avenue deal-making circles.

He found MDC attractive, he added, because “I never got the sense there was a corporate way of doing things that was enforced on you.”

Mr. Laird was introduced to Mr. Nadal through a mutual friend, Hamilton South, who sold a majority stake in his fashion-focused public relations agency, the HL Group, to MDC in 2007.

“It was nice to know someone who’d been through this whom I trusted,” Mr. Laird said.

Being part of MDC could help “take what we do to the next level,” he added, listing goals like expanding the digital division, adding offices overseas and “taking our expertise in fashion, luxury, beauty — high-image-driven brands — and applying it to other categories.”

Mr. Laird, like Mr. Nadal, said he had seen no signs of “dramatic shifts” in advertisers’ spending plans in response to the recent turmoil in American and European financial markets, which he described this way: “It’s up. It’s down. It’s recovered. It’s not.”

“Certainly, everyone is watching everything closely,” Mr. Laird said, but clients know that “going dark” — that is, to stop running ads — “is not going to do any good when it’s so competitive.”

“You have to get in the ring, and you have to duke it out,” he added.

A version of this article appeared in print on September 16, 2011, on page B8 of the New York edition with the headline: Uncertainty on Wall Street, Big Deals on Madison Avenue.

New M&A Firm for Buyers and Sellers in the Marketing Communication and Technology Sectors

Washington, DC (August 1, 2011) – A new boutique investment-banking firm has been launched specializing in the marketing communications industry. McCracken Advisory Partners (McCracken AP) will advise both buyers and sellers in marketing services mergers and acquisitions.

The investment-banking firm was born out of the acquisition of Washington DC-based broker dealer GRW Capital Corporation by McCracken Holdings, LLC.

Senior partners heading the firm are Keith McCracken and Ronnie Cohen, both veterans of the international marketing communications industry. The partners have developed a fast-growing M&A and Advisory Practice focused exclusively on the Marketing Communications and Technologies sectors.

“This is a new type of advisory aimed at matching buyers and sellers in one of the most dynamic businesses globally,” said Founder Keith McCracken. “The impact of technology change in the sector is opening up wide-ranging opportunities for both sellers and buyers alike. This needs a specialist advisory firm that’s big enough to be global and agile enough to be personal.”

McCracken Advisory Partners Corporation is a registered broker dealer and a member of FINRA and SIPC.

Contacts:
Keith McCracken
Email: keith@mccrackenap.com
Ronnie Cohen
Email: ronnie@mccrackenap.com

Telephone: +1 202 370 6363
www.mccrackenAP.com