H&K doubles business in Chile, covets LatAm shops

SANTIAGO, CHILE: Just one week after announcing the opening of its Central American base in Guatemala, Hill & Knowlton has acquired a second firm in Chile.

SANTIAGO, CHILE: Just one week after announcing the opening of its Central American base in Guatemala, Hill & Knowlton has acquired a second firm in Chile.

SANTIAGO, CHILE: Just one week after announcing the opening of its

Central American base in Guatemala, Hill & Knowlton has acquired a

second firm in Chile.



The agency, Captiva, was added to H&K’s already existing Santiago office

under the name of Hill & Knowlton/Captiva. With the acquisition, H&K has

doubled the size of its Chilean business.



During a Buenos Aires stopover on his Latin American shopping tour,

chairman and CEO Howard Paster said he hasn’t ruled out the possibility

of more acquisitions in the region. Earlier this year, H&K added Del

Castillo & Asociados, a former Porter Novelli Argentine affiliate, to

its Buenos Aires branch.



H&K already boasts six fully owned offices in the region (Puerto Rico,

Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Argentina and Chile) as well as affiliates in

Venezuela and Colombia. With the exception of Puerto Rico, every owned

branch in Latin America was established during Paster’s H&K tenure.



While income derived from Latin American operations accounts for less

than 5% of H&K’s revenue, it remains the firm’s fastest-growing

region.



The recent acquisitions, then, might be seen as a sign of the agency’s

commitment to catching up with other global firms that have an

established presence there, such as Burson-Marsteller and Porter

Novelli.



Not all of the agency’s news from Latin American has been rosy,

however.



The agency lost Pepsi’s Argentine business, though Paster noted that

this loss was negated by the acquisition of other new clients in the

region, such as Nike.



Paster added that he was also very pleased with the agency’s growth in

Brazil, despite the currency devaluation suffered by the country earlier

this year. He identified Mexico as H&K’s fastest-growing country in the

region.



H&K’s Latin American presence is led from New York by Juan Capello, who

is also minority stakeholder in the division. Capello recently announced

the firm’s decision to locate its regional healthcare practice in

Santiago, importing a New York healthcare veteran, Steve Immergut, to

lead it.



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