Four Small Agencies Join Forces As IMT

Four regional agencies and a video production house are merging in an effort to gain greater financial and creative flexibility.
While each unit will remain autonomous, operating under its own name, together they will form The International Marketing Team, a holding company the members expect to be publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange as early as April.
“It provides us with the liquidity of a public stock and gives us a greater return on investment,” said David Maiser, president of one of the partners, TradeMark Communications. The Edina, Minn.-based agency primarily handles business-to-business and fishing tackle accounts.
The other shops participating in the merger are Nissen Advertising/ Nissen Public Relations, Lakeland, Florida; Forbes/Toppino Creative Group, Albuquerque, N.M.; The Snyder Agency, Houston; and video production house Business Video Network, Houston.
The so-called “roll-up merger” approach to corporate alliances, under which the independent units jointly create a publicly traded financial holding company, has been used in the trucking and office supply industries, but not in advertising, Maiser said.
“It allows a lot of smaller, regional companies to come together as a buying group,” he said.
Each individual agency will operate under the same holding group as an independent corporation with its own name and identity. It is likely, though, that the shops will share expertise when necessary, Maiser said.
Additional agencies may be added to the alliance in the future to build IMT’s international presence.
Houston financier Bill Rogers will head IMT as chairman and chief executive officer. Nis Nissen III, chairman of Nissen Advertising, will serve as president and chief operating officer. Maiser will be secretary-treasurer.