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Posts Tagged ‘Don Middleberg’

Roll Call: MSLGroup, Edelman, Middleberg, and more

Since Roll Call didn’t go up in its usual Wednesday time slot, we have a special Thursday edition.

MSLGroup has pulled together its food, nutrition, and beverage capabilities into one group: MSLGROUP Americas Food & Beverage. The new group is led by Steve Bryant out of the Seattle office, which has undergone a name change from Publicis Consultants USA to MSL Seattle. Bryant is now MD of MSL Seattle. He’ll get help from Caryn Carmer the consumer practice leader in the New York office. PJPS, the company’s events and experiential marketing business, will remain the same. MSL Seattle clients include Sunkist Growers and Nestlé.

MSLGroup’s Andreoli MSL Brazil has also hired Valéria Café to serve as chief operations officer of the company’s Brazil offices. She has previously worked at companies including Whirlpool and Coca-Cola. Café will also lead efforts to expand the company’s Latin American footprint. MSLGroup currently has 14 affiliate and owned offices across Latin and Central America.

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Former Yankees PR Director Marty Appel Partners With Middleberg Communications

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Middleberg Communications has partnered with sports PR veteran Marty Appel, founder and CEO of Marty Appel Public Relations.

In Appel’s 40 plus years in sports PR, he has worked with the New York Yankess, the Atlanta Olympics and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

He was the youngest PR director in Major League history, when he held the role with the Yankees at age 24. Appel also served as WPIX’s executive producer of Yankee baseball, a position which won him an Emmy Award.

“Marty has been involved in top-notch sports PR longer than anyone I know, and I can think of no one better than him to offer us strategic council as we form our Sports Business Group,” said Middleberg CEO, Don Middleberg in a statement.

Year in Review: Top 5 Mergers & Acquisitions

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Downturns are a great time to shop if you have the money, and a lot of firms took advantage in 2009. The big got huge, the medium got big, and some got more social as firms merged and gobbled up other firms. We can’t remember a year when more M&A took place.

We pulled five deals for your consideration, ranked by “interesting-ness,” not revenue:

1) Next Fifteen + M Booth

With solid tech shops Text 100, Bite, and Outcast firmly in pocket, holding company Next Fifteen expanded in to the consumer, lifestyle, and travel PR market with M Booth in the U.S., and Lexis in the U.K.

2) Publicis Groupe + Razorfish

French giant Publicis bought Razorfish from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) for a cool $530 million. While not a PR deal per se, Publicis added a lot of size to its Vivaki suite (see VivaKi’s Superfriends of Social Media Get REAL)

3) CRT/tanaka + Livingston Communications

CRT Tanaka bought Geoff Livingston‘s firm in the Spring, along with his very popular Buzz Bin blog (now with multiple authors.) Look for the social big foot’s new firm sometime in 2010.

4) WPP Group + TNS

After a lot of chatter and speculation, global conglomerate WPP Group (Nasdaq: WPPGY) acquired Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), known for their Cymfony analytics tool. WPP has countless marketing brands in their stable, including huge PR shops such as Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, and Ogilvy PR.

5) Middleberg + Dowd

The growth of Don Middleberg‘s firm is deja vu all over again. Ten years ago he sold the $18 million Middleberg & Associates to Euro RSCG. Now his Middleberg Communications reaches mid-size with the acquisition of Jim Dowd‘s firm. It’s Middleberg’s third purchase in as many years.

Middleberg Communications Acquires Dowd Agency

Middleberg Communications will acquire The Dowd Agency in a deal announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however the acquisition puts the agency at more than $4 million in revenues and about 25 employees. Middleberg had net fees of $2,694,000 in 2008, which means about $1.5 million in annual business will come to the agency from today’s deal. The new agency will operate as Middleberg Communications, with The Dowd Agency as its consumer division.

This is the third deal in as many years for Middleberg. In November 2006 the agency acquired Towers Group and last February they acquired The Weiser Group.

The Dowd deal has been a long time in the works. “Jim and I have been talking for close to two years,” Middleberg Communications CEO Don Middleberg told PRNewser. “It’s not an economic story, it’s really a story of two guys who have been talking about doing something. Jim is a young guy who has tremendous consumer credentials.”

Dowd is steadily growing at a 20% year over year clip, Middleberg said, while his own agency is down 5-10% this year. Referring to his previous firm Middleberg & Associates, which was a 150-employee, $18 million operation that he sold to Euro RSCG, a division of Havas, in June 2000, Middleberg said he is, “not looking to become 150 people in three cities any longer, but I am looking to become what we were before, which is a superior firm doing great work.”

He also didn’t rule out future deals.

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