MWW chief outlines "aggressive" acquisition plans for UK market

Major US industry player and new entrant to the UK PR market MWW is set to go on an acquisition spree, its chief has told PRWeek.

Michael Kempner: using the UK as a base for global growth
Michael Kempner: using the UK as a base for global growth

Agency founder Michael Kempner said that he was looking to acquire "two or three" agencies within the next two years as part of an "aggressive" growth of MWW’s UK presence. 

Kempner, who first entered the UK by buying up Parys Communications in November, revealed that he was currently in early-stage talks with half a dozen agencies.

"We’re very active in the acquisition market," he said, "and are looking at several firms from the sizable down to smaller niche players, ranging from consumer to corporate comms, technology to public affairs."

The Democratic fundraiser launched MWW Group in 1986 and the agency now has ten offices in the US, a market in which it claims to rank among the country’s top five independent PR firms.

Successful growth of the UK office is the first stage of a broader plan, Kempner explained.

"A priority is to have a very extensive, deep and important global network of firms, and the first place we did this was with Paddy [Patrick Herridge, MD of MWW in the UK].

"Now our job is to help him grow to the largest and best mid-size agency in the UK and use it as a launching pad to acquire offices in other core cities across the world."

Emphasising that there would also be a focus on organic growth, he stated that though UK agencies worth $5m or below in revenue were a primarily acquisition target he could be willing to look at firms with revenue as large as $10m. 

Kempner was also open-minded about what form this might take.

"A priority today might be consumer but that doesn’t mean if I didn’t find a perfect public affairs side I wouldn’t do something there. It is about the cultural fit first and operating under the idea that if it makes sense then we do it, if not, we don’t."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in