MDC Partners acquires majority stake in Hunter PR

Through the deal, Hunter has joined MDC's roster of communications firms, which includes Allison+Partners, HL Group, Kwittken, and Sloane & Company.

Hunter PR managing partner Grace Leong
Hunter PR managing partner Grace Leong

NEW YORK: MDC Partners has bought a majority stake in Hunter Public Relations.

Through the deal, Hunter has joined MDC’s roster of communications firms, which includes Allison+Partners, HL Group, Kwittken, and Sloane & Company.

Hunter chose to sell a majority stake of the agency to MDC because of the holding company’s entrepreneurial and optimistic approach, said agency managing partner Grace Leong.

"The shared values when it comes to being entrepreneurial and aggressively independent are where we both come from, so the opportunities are vast," she added. "We look forward to what we can accomplish in the next 25 years."

Hunter, which has more than 100 staffers, reported year-over-year revenue growth of 26.5% in 2013 to $18.4 million. The New York-based firm celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.

Being a part of MDC will give Hunter the resources it needs to stay ahead of the curve in terms of working with clients and supporting staff, said Leong.

A representative from MDC could not be reached for comment.

"[Through the deal], we are now even better equipped to deliver a broader array of holistic and transformational campaigns that will drive superior financial results for all of our clients," Nadal said in a statement. "Hunter’s scaled expertise in marketing communications, media relations, events, and social media, combined with the team’s heritage of entrepreneurialism, make the team an ideal fit for MDC."

MDC’s agency network includes disciplines such as social media and digital, advertising, and research and analytics. Because Hunter has worked with a number of the company’s marketing firms over the years, including CP+B, Anomaly, and Assembly, the transition feels more like an "enhanced relationship" rather than a new one, Leong said.

Throughout the rest of this year, MDC will help to grow Hunter’s capabilities in social and digital, entertainment marketing, and Hispanic strategy and solutions, Leong said.

"Those are three areas where you can look for an immediate ramp up because they were attractive to [MDC] and they were on our goal sheet as well, so it’s a nice intersection between what [MDC] wants and how we already have quite a running start there," she explained.

Hunter will also have opportunities to grow its geographical footprint to other markets in the US and around the world, Leong said, adding that no client conflicts or staff cuts are expected to result from the move.

Hunter has worked with clients McIlhenny Company and Kraft Foods for more than two decades and has long-term relationships with 3M, Hasbro, and E&J Gallo Winery. Other accounts include Church & Dwight, Diageo North America, Johnson & Johnson/McNeil CHC, Post Foods, and Smithfield Packing Company.

Over the last 18 months, Hunter has added accounts such as Domino Sugar, PetArmor, Pompeian, Outback Steakhouse, and Sylvan Learning.

In addition to Leong, the firm’s leadership includes senior partners Jon Lyon and Jason Winocour, as well as partners Mark Newman, Donetta Allen, Gigi Russo, and Erin Hanson.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two businesses and their principles also heralded the deal on Twitter:

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