Mergers & Acquisitions

How to Integrate the Seller With the Buyer, Post-Sale

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

I am often asked why some mergers and/or acquisitions don’t go the way a buyer and/or seller originally thought. There are multiple reasons why a transaction may go awry, of course. For instance, the seller may have a different corporate philosophy from the buyer. Or there may be friction between the two sides regarding how …read more

Psychological Buy-in Critical for Exit Strategy

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

Amid the dramatic and ongoing changes within the media and marketing industries is the accelerating rate of M&A transactions within the PR field. PR firm owners, including heads of boutiques, smaller shops and mid-size firms, are giving more serious consideration to selling out. Many of these owners are products of the baby-boom generation and would …read more

Looking for a Court and Spark

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

You’re eager for a spark. You hope there’s good chemistry and scintillating conversation. If things go well during the first meeting a second meeting may hold promise for both the present and, perhaps most important, the future. It’s a fair description of dating. But it’s also an apt description of the courtship between prospective buyers …read more

Benchmarking Report Shows Firm Profitability Declining 

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

We’ve just released our latest industry benchmarking study, and the overall results aren’t very pretty. Most troubling: The industry’s overall profitability keeps falling, down to 15.3 percent in 2015, compared with 16.2 percent in 2014 and 15.8 percent in 2013. It was 18.8 percent in 2012. The results are based on 106 firms reporting their …read more

Window Shopping: What PR Buyers Want From Sellers

By Matthew Schwartz

Sure, there are plenty of PR agency owners who prefer to roll right along, making their numbers, growing their clientele and expanding their services organically, without ever making acquisitions or putting themselves in play. But what if they ran their firm as if they were going to buy it? The question was tackled during a …read more

Report: U.S. M&A Sector Revving Speed in 2016

By Matthew Schwartz

The U.S. M&A market is shaping up to be a frothy one this year. Ninety-one percent of U.S. based executives said they intended to initiate at least one acquisition in 2016, compared to 81 percent in 2015 and 61 percent in 2014, according to a new survey. The survey, titled, U.S. Executives on M&A: Full …read more

M&A Negotiations: Salvaging Deals That Go Awry

By Jennifer Casani

Negotiations are an inherent part of building your PR or communication business. When using Mergers & Acquisitions opportunities to create value, there are plenty of factors you need to be aware of. Whether buying other small agencies to spur organic growth, selling to an external buyer to combine synergies or exploring a future sale as …read more

Is the M&A Party Over? It Could Just Be Starting for PR Field

By Matthew Schwartz

Following two consecutive years of high-volume global mergers and acquisition activity, 70 percent of U.S. dealmakers surveyed expect a decrease in North American activity this year due to economic conditions and wobbly stock markets, according to a the 9th Annual Brunswick M&A Survey. Globally, however, it’s a different story, with most dealmakers (66 percent) optimistic …read more

Why Break-up Fees Should Be the Norm in PR

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

A “break-up fee” is common on Wall Street if a seller or buyer backs out of a deal after considerable transaction costs and due diligence has been incurred. But for PR M&A deals gone awry? Not so much. A recent case in point regarding the breakup fee: Marriott’s potential acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts …read more

Practice ‘Design Thinking’ Now to Avoid Employee Burnout Later

By Rick Gould CPA, J.D.

Sure, senior denizens of the PR and ad agency sectors are cocktail-party compliant when it comes to kibitzing about all the work bearing down on the firm and describing how they fear that their most valuable employees may burnout. Then they go back to the shop the next morning and continue assigning too much work …read more