GCI and Tunheim groups join forces

MINNEAPOLIS: GCI Group has snapped up the second largest independent PR firm in Minneapolis, buying the Tunheim Group for an undisclosed sum.

MINNEAPOLIS: GCI Group has snapped up the second largest independent PR firm in Minneapolis, buying the Tunheim Group for an undisclosed sum.

MINNEAPOLIS: GCI Group has snapped up the second largest independent PR firm in Minneapolis, buying the Tunheim Group for an undisclosed sum.

Ten-year-old Tunheim had 2000 PR revenues of dollars 6.7 million.

Founder and CEO Kathy Tunheim said she decided to sell to a larger agency because clients increasingly want an agency that can provide a global reach for their PR efforts.

Tunheim's expertise in retail and sports PR, as well as in public affairs, is what attracted GCI to the deal, said Bob Feldman, GCI president and CEO. He expects the office to grow to dollars 8 million in fees this year. The Minneapolis operation will become known as GCI Tunheim.

Tunheim is best known in the Twin Cities for its work with retail giant Target. Other clients include the Minnesota Twins baseball team, Andersen Windows and Microsoft.

Kathy Tunheim is widely respected among Minnesota PR people. 'The agency has a very good reputation - Kathy is really solid,' said Paul Maccabee, who runs the Maccabee Group, a local PR agency.

It had been rumored for some time that Tunheim was thinking of selling.

'I don't think that anyone will be surprised by the deal,' said Glenn Karwoski, SVP and managing director at Karwoski & Courage, another Minneapolis agency.

With Twin Cities firms starting to become concerned about a slowing economy, Tunheim might have sold at the top of the market, Maccabee said.

Padilla Spear Beardsley, with dollars 8.1 million in 1999 fees, is the largest independent PR agency in Minneapolis and ranks 45th in PRWeek's 2000 agency rankings. Few in the area expect to see the employee-owned shop put up for sale in the near future.

Shandwick's office is the largest in the market, with 1999 fees of dollars 18.8 million.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.