Edelman expands with acquisition of Vollmer PR

HOUSTON: Edelman acquired Vollmer PR, effective today, expanding its presence in Texas and the Southwest.

HOUSTON: Edelman acquired Vollmer PR, effective today, expanding its presence in Texas and the Southwest. The combined firms will bring in more than $9 million in revenue in Texas, the agency reported.

"It's a function of scale, leadership, and expertise," said Matthew Harrington, president and CEO of Edelman US. Vollmer has expertise in energy, education, and crisis and issues management, in addition to consumer marketing experience that mirrors what Edelman offers, he added.

"Strategically for Edelman in the US, if we're going to be in a market, we want to be in the top three ranking in the market, from a leadership perspective," Harrington told PRWeek, "and this acquisition enables us to do that."

Vollmer offices will merge with Edelman's offices in Austin, Dallas, and New York, and Vollmer's Houston headquarters will become the hub for Edelman Southwest, which Vollmer founder and CEO Helen Vollmer will oversee.

"We value our independence and the fact that Edelman is the leading independent firm, kind of sang to us honestly," said Vollmer. "Because we're not answering to Wall Street, we can really provide client service and employee development in new and flexible ways."

Edelman Texas GM Teresa Henderson will serve as EVP and GM of the combined Dallas office. She will also share responsibility for the Austin office with Denisha Stevens, previously EVP and GM for Vollmer in Dallas, who will now be EVP of consumer marketing for the region. Vollmer president Carolyn Mayo will now serve as EVP and GM of the Houston office, while Vollmer COO Allen Caudle will serve as EVP of crisis and issues for the region.

Edelman approached Vollmer last November about a possible acquisition, Vollmer said, adding that Dan Edelman originally approached her 20 years ago when she first founded the firm.

"The timing was not right," she said. "Now, the time is right. From a Vollmer standpoint, we want additional resources for our clients and when we looked at what Edelman brought to the table, it was so clear that what they have in terms of those resources just matched exactly what we were looking for."

The combined firm will have 53 employees in Texas, and there were no layoffs. All of Vollmer's clients will move to the new firm, and there are no conflicts, Vollmer and Harrington confirmed.

Clients for Edelman in Texas include the American Petroleum Institute, Livestrong, and Research in Motion (RIM). Vollmer clients coming over include Travelocity, Sabre Holdings, Texas Tourism, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

"It's a really interesting market from a statistic perspective," Harrington said of why the agency was looking in Texas for acquisitions. "Texas has the most Fortune 500 companies right after New York City, so being able to serve that market and all the industries that they represent presents opportunity."

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