Miami ‘Secret’ Is Out: Beber Buys Ryder

Miami’s Beber Silverstein & Partners revealed last week that it had acquired neighboring agency Ryder & Schild, creating one of Florida’s largest ad houses with more than $100 million in billings.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed by either firm, but industry observers pegged the price for the smaller shop at about $4 million, R&S’s 1997 estimated net income.
A condition of the purchase will allow R&S to keep its name and maintain its client base under the BS&P umbrella. It physically moves into Beber’s office building Dec. 28.
Current R&S president Bruce Noonan will remain in that role and share the co-managing director’s post with Bill Vervaeke, with BS&P’s principals essentially replacing Wil-liam Ryder as chief executive officer. Vice chairman Ken Istel will become a part-time consultant for the firm.
Noonan said he and Vervaeke approached BS&P soon after the agency began discussions with Ryder about purchasing R&S from him six months ago. “The fact is that what we came to conclude, as a $30 million agency, we were not going to win big accounts. Beber Silverstein came to the same conclusion as a $70 million agency . . . and we started talking about how we could put the businesses together,” Noonan said.
R&S, the market’s oldest ad agency founded in 1960, had estimated billings of $27 million in 1996. It would not release its billings for 1997. High-profile clients include Hertz Latin America, Walt Disney’s Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, Fla., and the Palm Beach County (Fla.) Convention and Visitors Bureau.
This latest acquisition continues BS&P’s expansion over the past two years. The firm first acquired JGR & Associates, the state’s eighth-largest public relations firm, and later began Epica Advertising for marketing specifically aimed at the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets.
Whispers of the deal had been making the rounds for weeks, with a rep at one Miami agency calling it “the worst kept secret in town.”