LAS VEGAS: R&R Partners, an advertising, public relations and public affairs firm, has signed a letter of intent to acquire Las Vegas-based Brown & Partners Advertising, Public Relations and Public Affairs and Reno-based political consultant Pete Ernaut, for an undisclosed amount.
Brown & Partners will continue to operate as a stand-alone company under the name.
Bill Vassiliadis will remain as CEO of R&R Partners. Mark Brown, president of Brown & Partners, will become president of R&R Partners. Chuck Johnston, managing partner at Brown & Partners, will become president there. Ernaut will become president of R&R Partner's public affairs division, working out of its Reno office.
No lay-offs are expected. "We didn't do this for efficiency; we did it for growth," said Vassiliadis, adding he expected the firm to grow 10% to 15% in 12 months.
Vassiliadis said the three groups came together because Brown & Partners and Ernaut felt it was best to build their growth from R&R's larger structure.
Clients of the combined agency would include The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, MGM/Mirage Advertising and Events, The Nevada Commission on Tourism, Caesars Entertainment, Mandalay Resort Group, Las Vegas Monorail, and the National Bank of Arizona.
R&R Partners is integrated and provides multiple service disciplines to many of its clients. For example, it has two full-time PR professionals devoted to the Las Vegas Convention and provides corporate PR for the Mandalay Group and PR for The Nevada Commission on Tourism, according to Vassiliadis.
Additionally, Vassiliadis said the firm picked up PR clients of Brown & Partners, which specializes in grassroots campaigns, and public affairs clients of Ernaut. The combined firm will handle crisis communications for the Las Vegas Monorail, which has had a shaky debut, starting up and shutting down twice because of technical problems. Vassiliadis expects the two acquisitions to help R&R build on its transportation PR practice.
The three entities will have $226 million in capitalized billings and employ 242 staff members as of January 1, 2005, when the acquisitions become effective. R&R Partners, founded in 1974, reported billings of $180 million last year.
As a result of the acquisition, R&R Partners' PR billings will jump over 50% from $10 million pre-acquisition to $15.2 million. Public affairs billings will rise about 195% from $7.3 million to $21.6 million. Advertising will jump 16% from $162.7 million to $189.2 million.