NEW YORK: Middleberg Communications has acquired GS Schwartz & Co. after three months of planning.
GS Schwartz's team of eight staffers has joined Middleberg's 25-employee office, said CEO Don Middleberg. He added that GS Schwartz founder and CEO Jerry Schwartz has taken on the role of senior counselor, focusing on new business and client relations, and COO Rachel Honig became MD and principal at Middleberg.
“Jerry Schwartz and I have been friendly competitors for years,” explained Middleberg. “[He] decided he wants to slow down and approached me about acquiring his firm because of his concern for his people and his clients.”
No layoffs will occur as a result of the deal, said Middleberg. He declined to disclose its financial terms.
Middleberg added that his primary goal in acquiring GS Schwartz is to bring on “really good people and some really good brands.”
GS Schwartz's client roster included Reader's Digest, the Toy Industry Association, and law firm Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe. Middleberg's focus areas are consumer technology and professional services, but the agency also handles a “wide variety of clients,” said Middleberg.
Middleberg Communications reported revenue of $3.05 million in 2011, down 8% compared with the previous year. GS Schwartz saw revenue of $3.85 million last year, a drop of 19% compared with 2010.
Since founding the eponymous firm in 2006, Middleberg has acquired agencies including TowersGroup, the Weiser Group, and social media agency Laundry Service. Middleberg became principal and CEO of Laundry Service in May.
He noted that the agency's work for current and prospective clients will have a mix of social media and traditional PR.
The integration of social into all communications initiatives indicates that small and mid-size firms run by Baby Boomers and Generation Y have to make sure they incorporate social into their efforts, said Middleberg. “Without that component, they are going to have a very difficult time competing” with other agencies, he added.
Middleberg sold his first agency, Middleberg + Associates, to Havas-owned Euro RSCG for about $18 million in 2000.