Golin gobbles MWW, revenues could soar

CHICAGO: Golin/Harris International has snapped up The MWW Group, a move that, along with the agencies gained in last month's reshuffle by parent Interpublic Group, will send Golin's PR revenues soaring.

CHICAGO: Golin/Harris International has snapped up The MWW Group, a move that, along with the agencies gained in last month's reshuffle by parent Interpublic Group, will send Golin's PR revenues soaring.

CHICAGO: Golin/Harris International has snapped up The MWW Group, a move that, along with the agencies gained in last month's reshuffle by parent Interpublic Group, will send Golin's PR revenues soaring.

While deal participants weren't discussing terms, the price of the takeover could top the dollars 75 million paid for Cunningham Communications earlier this year.

East Rutherford, NJ-based MWW - which will keep its name and offices - expects revenues to grow from last year's dollars 27 million to dollars 35 million this year.

The deal further diminishes the dwindling supply of independent PR networks.

'There aren't a lot of firms the size of MWW left to buy', noted Dave Gilbert, president of Golin. Discussions about a purchase stared one year ago and heated up in the past three months, he said, describing a period of heightened expansion activity for his company.

MWW has offices in Chicago; Los Angeles; New York; Olympia and Seattle, WA; Trenton, NJ and Washington, DC.

Practice areas include IR, public affairs, consumer PR and e-business/technology.

The retention of MWW's separate branding was a key attraction to Michael Kempner, president, CEO and principal owner of MWW. 'Keeping our identity was important to us,' he said. 'Golin appreciated and understood who we were.'

For Golin's part, Gilbert added that keeping the brand separate will provide an opportunity to go after client business that might otherwise be a conflict for Golin.

Golin's international reach was also an attraction, as was the expansion support it has recently had from its own parent, the Interpublic Group.

'The same support they're getting from IPG, we expect to get out of them,' Kempner said. 'Clearly, Golin is positioned to be one of the next superbrands.'

IPG's recent reorganization of its PR operations saw Golin pick up capabilities in public affairs, lobbying and technology in the wake of Weber's merger with Shandwick (PRWeek, September 25). During the summer, it took over international offices from its expected sister agencies, strengthening its worldwide reach.

Gilbert said one more acquisition is likely.



MWW GROUP

1999 revenues: dollars 27 million

Projected 2000 revenues: dollars 35 million

Offices: East Rutherford and Trenton, NJ; New York; Chicago; Los Angeles; Olympia and Seattle, WA (Seattle office operates as MWW/Savitt); Washington, DC

Practices: technology marketing, IR, corporate communications, consumer and B-to-B marketing, public affairs and government relations.

Major clients: Bally total Fitness, McDonald's New York Tri-State Restaurants, Hard Rock Cafe International, Continental Airlines, A&P Supermarkets and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.



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