COLUMBUS, OH—Fahlgren, one of the Midwest's top independent communications companies is acquiring Cleveland-based Edward Howard & Co., believed to be the nation's longest-established independent public relations firm. The acquisition, which combines the capabilities of Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations and Edward Howard, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2010 although integration and coordinated new business and marketing efforts will begin immediately. Both brand names will remain.
The combination of Fahlgren Mortine and Edward Howard creates a public relations business with more than 60 staff members in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo in Ohio, and Atlanta; Denver; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and, Parkersburg, W. Va. The PR operation is projected to generate approximately $10 million in revenue in 2010.
The agency will be headquartered in Columbus and led by Neil Mortine, president of Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations, and CEO of Fahlgren. Kathy Cupper Obert, formerly chairman and chief executive of Edward Howard, will become president of Edward Howard and assume also be managing director of Fahlgren. Wayne Hill, formerly president of Edward Howard, will serve as executive vice president of Edward Howard. Both Obert and Hill will serve on the Fahlgren management team.
"Edward Howard is a firm that we have long admired for its expertise, capabilities and reputation as a foremost public relations business," says Mortine. "This is the right time for this acquisition because as the economy continues to rebound, we're seeing increased demand for public relations partners that can deliver cost-effective, responsive and measurable communications services."
Adds Obert: "This is good for clients, employees and the future. We have been talking on and off for several years with Fahlgren executives about the opportunities and benefits that could result from bringing our two firms together. Now is the right time.”