IQ News: Rare Medium To Cook Up More Online Acquisition Deals

Rare Medium, New York, announced its latest acquisition, Toronto-based Hype!, last week as part of an ongoing expansion strategy. The plan also includes the creation of a new post solely focused on mergers and acquisitions.
Hype!’s clients include Dun & Bradstreet Canada, Motorola Information Systems and Johnson & Johnson Medical Products. Terms were not disclosed.
The move follows purchases of I O 360, also in New York, and DigitalFacades, Los Angeles, both of which have taken on the Rare Medium name. Rare Medium itself was acquired last spring by ICC Technologies, Hatboro, Pa. It also has offices in Atlanta and Phoenix. Revenues for the four-quarters through March were $3.9 million. Clients include General Mills, Sharp and Microsoft.
The deals have been struck under the leadership of vice president of mergers and acquisitions Steve Cuthrell, who coordinated nearly 30 similar acquisitions with USWeb, Santa Clara, Calif., before joining Rare Medium this summer. He and president and CEO Glenn Meyers say the agency’s acquisitions are based on people, not money, unlike USWeb’s “roll-up” strategy, aimed at gaining mass quickly.
“These are very small deals that are based on chemistry, people who have the ability to be part of long-term deals,” Meyers said. “I needed the help as CEO and president. I needed an internal resource that has success.”
“The wrong way is to sort of blindly go out and acquire revenue,” Cuthrell added.
Not many agencies have hired mergers and acquisitions specialists, choosing instead to use investment bankers. Meyers himself has an investment banking background.
Meyers said he expects the company to expand its existing offices, as well as acquire companies in San Francisco, Dallas and the Midwest by the end of the year. “We hope to fill out all the major markets,” he said.