Capstrat acquired by PR giant Ketchum [The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)]
(News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 09--Capstrat, one of the Triangle's largest communications firms, has been acquired by public relations giant Ketchum for an undisclosed sum.
The privately held Raleigh agency has been thriving -- it added 30 employees in 2012, giving it a total of 125 -- but co-founder and CEO Ken Eudy said prospective clients increasingly have been asking, "If we hire you, how are you going to support us in Singapore Or San Francisco "
Joining New York-based Ketchum, which has operations in more than 70 countries, fills that bill, Eudy said.
"We will operate under the Capstrat brand," Eudy said. "Everybody stays in place, including me. In fact, I'm the only one who has a new boss." Capstrat will also remain in Raleigh.
Eudy, who was the firm's majority owner, said the sales price is confidential but added that he would love to disclose it "because I'm proud of it."
Capstrat was originally called Capital Strategies when it was formed in 1994 by Eudy and Steve Meehan, who is no longer with the firm. At the outset the agency focused on public relations and government affairs, including lobbying, but over the years it expanded into marketing and advertising.
Eudy has been a fixture on the state's political scene since he was a political writer for The Charlotte Observer in the 1970s. He later became executive director of the state Democratic Party, then ventured into lobbying.
The agency's clients include Duke Energy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Quintiles, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
Eudy said he couldn't disclose Capstrat's 2012 revenue, citing Ketchum's non-disclosure policy. Capstrat previously reported that its 2011 revenue totaled $14.2 million, up 20 percent from the year before.
Eudy said that he has been notifying the agency's clients of the sale.
"Mostly they want to know, 'Will our client team change '" Eudy said. "The answer is no."
Ketchum, which was named Agency of the Year by PRWeek last year, is owned by New York-based Omnicom Group, a publicly traded advertising and public relations firm. Omnicom's other public relations firms, in addition to Ketchum, include Fleishman-Hillard, which has a Raleigh office, Porter Novelli and Cone Communications. Its ad agencies include DDB, BBDO andTWBA/Chiat/Day.
Ketchum CEO Rob Flaherty said in a statement that the purchase "is another important milestone in Ketchum's strategic growth plan. ... Through our partnership with Capstrat, we are not only adding expertise, but more importantly, we are adding incredible talent to the agency."
(c)2013 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
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