Matter acquires Hollenbeck in West Coast expansion

NEWBURYPORT, MA: Matter Communications has acquired Portland, OR-based The Hollenbeck Group as it looks to expand on the West Coast.

NEWBURYPORT, MA: Matter Communications has acquired Portland, OR-based The Hollenbeck Group as it looks to expand on the West Coast.

Kent Hollenbeck, founder of the eponymous agency and former SVP of global corporate communications at Waggener Edstrom, will join Matter as VP for the West Coast and a member of the agency's senior staff. Hollenbeck Group's two other staffers will also join Matter, while the Hollenbeck Group agency brand dissolves.

Hollenbeck's Portland, OR, office will serve as Matter's West Coast hub, said Matter VP Jesse Ciccone. Matter expects to grow its staff there to 10 employees within a year, he added.

Hollenbeck founded his own firm last year after leaving WE, where he worked for more than 12 years. One of the firm's key launch clients was mobile device manufacturer HTC, which shifted some of its work from WE to Hollenbeck. The Hollenbeck Group initially handled corporate communications for HTC and has expanded the assignment over the past year to include North American analyst relations.

HTC, along with The Hollenbeck Group's other clients such as cloud-based services company Redapt and research analytics firm Dialsmith, will join Matter's client roster.

“What [Hollenbeck] was able to do in a relatively short period of time, such as getting a marquee client, was really impressive, and he was the type of person and approach we were looking for out there,” Ciccone said.

Matter already had a number of clients based on the West Coast, such as Lexar Media, Esri, and TriQuint, but it previously serviced those accounts from its East Coast offices, Ciccone explained. The agency is headquartered in Newburyport, MA, and also has offices in Boston and Providence, RI.

Matter's clients include Harris Corporation, Verizon Wireless, and LoJack, a maker of tracking and recovery systems for stolen cars.

Matter will continue to look for other opportunities around the country, Ciccone said. He declined to name specific markets that are of interest to the agency.

Matter declined to disclose financial terms of the deal.

Hollenbeck said he did not intend to sell to a larger agency when he founded his firm, but Matter's “commitment to the West Coast and understanding of the uniqueness of Portland” convinced him.

“In Portland, there are a number of large companies announcing a presence, such as Salesforce.com, as well as smaller companies and startups starting to emerge,” he added. “It's not as though there is just one place to have a strong West Coast presence anymore.”

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