Following Losses, 2 Boston Shops Join Forces

Holland Mark-Ingalls Union Will Create a $180 Mil. Agency
BOSTON–The pending acquisition of Ingalls by Holland Mark Martin Edmund is intended to make the new whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Though it won Dreyfus Corp. a few weeks ago, Holland Mark here has been largely unable to play on the national stage. Its new business spree of the mid-1990s fizzled; Dreyfus is the lone new client of note. The shop also lost Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Massachusetts ($5-7 million) when the year began. Though not crippling, the loss helped convince Holland Mark that a deal was needed, sources said. Boston-based Ingalls has been thwarted in numerous recent reviews, including Brink’s Home Security, and Dreyfus.
The union of New England’s two largest independent agencies will create Holland Mark Edmund Ingalls, with revenues of $20 million, billings of $180 million and 200 employees. (The agencies’ revenues are adjusted to account for Ingall’s Raytheon loss and because Holland Mark’s hefty database operation is not part of the deal.)
Holland Mark founder Bill Davis becomes CEO; Ingalls CEO Bink Garrison will report to Davis as chairman. Holland Mark president Chris Colbert will keep that post.
Terms of the deal are still being negotiated, but it is expected that Ingalls will fetch far less than $17 million, the figure claimed by Garrison as 1998 revenues. Garrison is Ingalls’ majority shareholder and the only Ingalls executive expected to remain by contract for three to five years, sources said.
At present, no layoffs or client conflicts are anticipated, a Holland Mark representative said. Holland Mark clients also include Polaroid Corp. and Universal Studios. Ingalls’ roster includes TJX Cos.–parent of T.J. Maxx–and Radisson Hotels.
The agencies began talks a few weeks ago [Adweek, June 21] following Ingalls’ unsuccessful negotiations with Arnold Communications in Boston.