CHICAGO: Lighthouse Global Network made its first foray into the US PR scene last week by snatching up Morgen-Walke, a dollars 25 million IR operation.
CHICAGO: Lighthouse Global Network made its first foray into the US
PR scene last week by snatching up Morgen-Walke, a dollars 25 million IR
Placed alongside the UK-based Financial Dynamics, which Lighthouse
bought last summer (PRWeek, August 9, 1999), the purchase creates a
dollars 50+ million IR/financial PR behemoth. Both companies will be
housed in Lighthouse’s Business Communications Group.
Founded in 1982, the New York-based M-W is one of the most respected IR
shops around, handling work for over 200 mostly small- to mid-cap
But co-founder Lynn Morgen said the time had come to expand its
offerings into crisis, M&A and corporate branding, which necessitated an
influx of cash.
Industry sources said that M-W - while a solid firm with good leadership
- could not handle much beyond ’block and tackle’ IR and thus was very
interested in selling. One went so far as to call M-W an IR
’Our business was built on plain old IR,’ Morgen said. ’Over the years
we have developed crisis and M&A expertise, but only for existing
clients. We knew that we would eventually have to increase our
Enter Lighthouse president Martin Beck, who began talking to Morgen and
co-founder David Walke last summer. With revenues just under dollars 200
million, Lighthouse has 1,200 employees and 14 companies under its
umbrella, including extensive design, product development, marketing and
Boasting a war chest of over dollars 200 million, the privately owned
Lighthouse has made no bones about its desire for US-based PR firms. M-W
fits neatly into the strategy of acquiring firms that can expand the
’message shaping’ portion of the company.
’We’re very interested in the IR component of PR as an initial way of
entering (the market),’ Beck said.
The cash-and-stock deal is already paying dividends for M-W, as it
recently won two pitches for UK-based companies that came as a result of
referrals from Financial Dynamics. Lighthouse will also look to revive
M-W’s moribund Paris office, which had a rough year in 1999. No changes
in the firm’s senior management are expected.
LIGHTHOUSE GLOBAL NETWORK HOLDINGS
LGN Business Communications:
LGN Design & Development:
The Leonhardt Group
LGN Marketing Services:
Int’l Sports Marketing
Sports Pro Hawaii