NEW YORK: Another one bites the dust. After courting buyers for more than a year, The Benjamin Group became the latest hi-tech firm to join the fraternity of former independents by accepting BSMG Worldwide's buyout offer.
The purchase?expected for over a month (PRWeek, June 21)?provides an enormous boost to BSMG's technology practice and vaults the firm well into the top 10 of PRWeek's hi-tech agency rankings. And coupled with BSMG's acquisition of The Financial Relations Board last December (PRWeek, Jan. 18), it gives chairman and CEO Harris Diamond plum pickups in two of the hottest PR sectors.
'We expect hi-tech to be our fastest-growing practice going forward,' Diamond said. 'Sheri (Benjamin) will give us the capabilities and depth of staff that will allow us to accelerate that growth.'
BSMG's technology practice has made good strides of late, picking up more than dollars 3 million in Hewlett-Packard business over the holidays (PRWeek, January 11) and bolstering its operations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Diamond promised further expansion of the technology practice in the Bay Area and internationally.
Despite the gains, BSMG could not battle the big boys of hi-tech without a solid Silicon Valley presence, which Benjamin provides.
Founded in 1988 by Sheri and Steve Benjamin, the firm has about 80 employees and offices in Santa Ana and Orange County, CA. Benjamin had billings of over dollars 9 million last year and projects over dollars 10 million in 1999.
President Sheri Benjamin, who said firms were 'chomping at the bit' to acquire her firm, likened the acquisition to 'an ideal yin-and-yang situation. Benjamin is a pure Silicon Valley tech play, while BSMG's stellar work in public affairs and corporate reputation is exactly what we need.' She added that some suitors came from outside the PR arena, including management consulting firms.
Diamond, meanwhile, added, 'We spoke with many firms, but the only one we went down the pike with was Sheri.'