WASHINGTON DC: Laeschke Consulting, a German-based integrated marketing firm, is looking to buy a Washington DC marketing or PR agency to gain a foothold in the US.
Laeschke, headquartered near Frankfurt, has had discussions with six multi-million dollar agencies, but none have been successful.
According to President Bernd Laeschke, who oversees the firm's North American operations from Toronto, Canada, it is still in talks with two of the agencies. In addition, it is continuing to seek out other agencies, he said. Laeschke declined to name the firms he spoke with, but described one as a ' $24 million agency based in Alexandria.'
Laeschke said it would like to acquire a small firm or establish a joint venture with a larger firm. Criteria include expertise in pharmaceutical or biotech, high technology, banking and economic development.
Laeschke said the company initially considered firms in Atlanta, Boston, New York, and Washington, DC.
New York was eliminated due to high costs and Atlanta lacked international links, he said. While Boston was a viable option, Laeschke said Washington DC was chosen because of the concentration of biotechnology companies in Montgomery County, MD, and the hi-tech companies in Northern Virginia.
Laeschke said the company preferred to work with an existing agency to avoid some of the challenges encountered when it launched its North American operations in Canada. 'We had problems finding the right suppliers and made a couple of mistakes because of cultural differences,' he stated.
As an example, he said, while even small companies in Europe have marketing departments, in North America, marketing may be handled by a company's president or CEO.
Among Laeschke Consulting Canada clients are DCL International, an automotive supplier; Lexmark Canada, a printer manufacturer; and the Province of Ontario Economic Development Authority.