Padilla Speer Beardsley acquires CRT/tanaka

MINNEAPOLIS: Padilla Speer Beardsley has signed an agreement to acquire CRT/tanaka, creating an integrated agency called PadillaCRT.

MINNEAPOLIS: Padilla Speer Beardsley has signed an agreement to acquire CRT/tanaka, creating an integrated agency called PadillaCRT.

The deal is expected to close near the end of next month.

The combination will create an agency with about $30 million in annual billings. For full-year 2012, CRT/tanaka reported revenue of $13 million, and Padilla earned $16.9 million last year.

The merged firm, which will have nearly 200 staffers across Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, will work with clients across food and beverage, healthcare, b-to-b, consumer products and services, technology, and agribusiness.

PadillaCRT will also offer services in branding, research, corporate and investor relations, creative and digital, crisis communications, and social media.

Once the deal closes, Padilla CEO Lynn Casey will become chair and CEO of PadillaCRT, while CRT/tanaka counterpart Mark Raper will serve as president of the new agency. CRT/tanaka president Mike Mulvihill will become an EVP at the firm, and Patrice Tanaka, chief creative officer at CRT/tanaka, will be named chief counselor and creative strategist. Padilla New York MD Greg Tarmin will oversee the combined New York office.

Casey said the “idea was seeded” for the combined agency about eight years ago when a number of mid-size firms came together to provide professional-development experiences for their staff. Padilla and CRT kept in touch through the years and collaborated on several projects, she added.

About a year ago, Casey said she spoke to Raper about expanding her New York presence, and Raper said he wanted to explore employee ownership for CRT, which is the model that Padilla uses. Through the acquisition, PadillaCRT will have 33 staffers in New York, up from Padilla's eight.  

Padilla and CRT/tanaka also had no client conflicts, Casey said, which made the decision to merge easier.

The agency's clients will include BASF, Merck, UnitedHealth Group, Girl Scouts of the USA, Barnes & Noble College, Land O'Lakes, Cargill, HASS Avocado Board, and SAP. 

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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