Middleberg Communications Acquires Dowd Agency

Middleberg Communications will acquire The Dowd Agency in a deal announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however the acquisition puts the agency at more than $4 million in revenues and about 25 employees. Middleberg had net fees of $2,694,000 in 2008, which means about $1.5 million in annual business will come to the agency from today’s deal. The new agency will operate as Middleberg Communications, with The Dowd Agency as its consumer division.

This is the third deal in as many years for Middleberg. In November 2006 the agency acquired Towers Group and last February they acquired The Weiser Group.

The Dowd deal has been a long time in the works. “Jim and I have been talking for close to two years,” Middleberg Communications CEO Don Middleberg told PRNewser. “It’s not an economic story, it’s really a story of two guys who have been talking about doing something. Jim is a young guy who has tremendous consumer credentials.”

Dowd is steadily growing at a 20% year over year clip, Middleberg said, while his own agency is down 5-10% this year. Referring to his previous firm Middleberg & Associates, which was a 150-employee, $18 million operation that he sold to Euro RSCG, a division of Havas, in June 2000, Middleberg said he is, “not looking to become 150 people in three cities any longer, but I am looking to become what we were before, which is a superior firm doing great work.”

He also didn’t rule out future deals.

“I’m interested in doing more but I’m not going to be a mini-version of [WPP CEO] Martin Sorrell,” he said. Specifically, Middleberg said he is looking at agencies that have less than $3 million in revenue.

Dowd CEO Jim Dowd called Middleberg a “legend” in the industry and said, “All of our current and future clients can expect the same results-oriented, bootstrap mentality and a staff hungry for that next big hit, only now with bigger and better resources.”