NEW YORK: Middleberg Communications acquired financial agency The Weiser Group, effective today, February 2.
Middleberg Group CEO Don Middleberg did not disclose the acquisition price, but said that with the addition of the Weiser Group, which has annual billings of more than $1 million, the agency will now have total revenues exceeding $3.2 million.
The Weiser Group is being fully absorbed into Middleberg and will now operate under that name. Former Weiser Group chairman Michael Weiser will stay on as a senior strategist, responsible for strategic counseling and new business development. Jonathan Cohen, former Weiser president, is now MD and a member of the agency's executive committee. All but one Weiser staffer have joined Middleberg, according to Weiser.
Middleberg said he views acquisitions as a good growth opportunity in a recession.
“I've been through three recessions, and that doesn't mean that agencies can't grow,” he said. “The ability to have growth through acquisitions can work very well in downtime, and my suspicion is that there are other agencies that are in the $1 million-to-$3 million range, run by Baby Boomers, who are looking for an exit strategy and would be interested in talking to us.”
Middleberg added that there are no client conflicts as a result of the acquisition. Weiser said on January 28 that of the clients he had talked to, “early reviews are that this is a win-win.”
Weiser said his agency had considered seven other potential buyers as a part of a six-month review before settling on Middleberg.
“I've known Don on and off for 35 years, and I think that our staff and his staff fit well together,” Weiser said. “A key driver for us in doing this is being big enough to provide our clients with greater services and our people with stronger career paths.”