Padilla acquires digital specialist shop INM United

Richmond, Virginia-based INM had a client roster including Virginia Commonwealth University.

L-R: INM United CEO Joel Erb, Adam Hake, Nishiki Liu, Paul Venuto, Luke Stoutenburg, Matt CromImage. (Photo credit: Lee Khleang)
L-R: INM United CEO Joel Erb, Adam Hake, Nishiki Liu, Paul Venuto, Luke Stoutenburg, Matt CromImage. (Photo credit: Lee Khleang)

RICHMOND, VA: Padilla has acquired INM United, a digital strategy and development firm, it said on Thursday.

Effective June 1, Richmond, Virginia-based INM’s six-person staff joined Padilla’s creative and digital team. The group will relocate to Padilla’s office by the end of the month. The INM brand is being discontinued.

INM CEO Joel Erb will serve as senior director at Padilla and report to chief creative officer Heath Rudduck. The former INM team will work within Padilla’s 45-person creative unit.

Discussions about a deal began a few months ago, said Padilla CEO Lynn Casey. She declined to provide financial details about the deal. Padilla has partnered with INM on work for VCU Health, Chick-fil-A, Afton Chemical, and other clients, Casey said in a statement.

With designers, developers, and strategists bolstering its capabilities, INM was an attractive target for acquisition due to its digital capabilities, Casey said, noting that INM’s former staffers will have access to a broader client base and network of colleagues at Padilla. There will be no layoffs as a result of the deal, she added.

"We are continuously looking at the people we have in place to serve our clients," Casey said. "Out of any capability in a PR firm’s wheelhouse, the digital arena is the most fluid and dynamic, which means we are vigilant about making sure we have the right people in place."

Erb founded INM in 1998, when he was a teenager. It has worked with more than 300 companies including BFGoodrich and Walmart. Its client roster included Luck Stone, Ledbury, Virginia Wine, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Padilla reported a 13% revenue increase in 2016 to $39.4 million, with the bulk of its new revenue coming from its acquisition of Foodminds. In March, it rebranded from PadillaCRT.

Two years ago, the firm made an earlier acquisition in Richmond, buying up Joe Smith Brand Strategy and its seven-person team.

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