Lewis acquires Boston-based Davies Murphy Group

SAN FRANCISCO: Lewis PR has acquired Boston-based firm Davies Murphy Group in an expansion of its East Coast presence.

SAN FRANCISCO: Lewis PR has acquired Boston-based firm Davies Murphy Group in an expansion of its East Coast presence.

The deal, which closed May 31, increases Lewis' revenue to more than $45 million globally and more than $20 million in the US. It also grows the agency's staff to more than 420 employees globally.

Davies Murphy will retain its name for the time being and operate as a wholly owned division of Lewis. Agency principals Eric Davies and Andy Murphy will continue to lead the firm, reporting to Lewis EVP Morgan McLintic.

Lewis plans to rebrand Davies Murphy over time, McLintic said. There were no layoffs as a result of the deal, he added. 

While the agencies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, McLintic said it is Lewis' largest acquisition to date. McCracken Advisory Partners advised Lewis on the transaction.

Lewis decided to buy Davies Murphy for its client roster, East Coast presence, and marketing capabilities, McLintic said.

“We already have a significant presence on the West Coast, but we need to be bigger on the East Coast, so we were looking for a firm here,” he explained. “This deal also brings broader marketing services.”

Lewis is in “active discussions” with a number of other acquisition targets in the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, McLintic said. The firm is looking to build a New York presence and to expand in other communications disciplines, such as public affairs and crisis communications, he said.

“One of our goals as a company is to compete at the top level in PR. The largest firms in the PR industry have been in the top 10 for a couple of decades, so there hasn't been a lot of disruption. We want to scale up and compete at that level,” McLintic said. 

Founded in 1998, Davies Murphy focuses on the b-to-b technology space, with more than 45 clients ranging from startups to large tech companies. The firm has 65 staffers and offices in Boston; Washington, DC; Atlanta; Corvallis, OR; London; and Munich. Davies Murphy reported nearly $9 million in revenue last year.

This is Lewis' third acquisition in the past five years. In 2010, Lewis acquired social media agency Page One PR. It also bought European firm Leads United in 2009.

Lewis has 25 wholly owned offices in the US, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. In the US, it operates offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Washington DC, and Boston.

This story was updated on June 10 with more information about the deal and quotes from McLintic.

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