MHI Expands Agency Holdings

With a goal of creating a network of local agencies to provide a broad scope of specialized marketing services, Multi-Media Holdings Inc. has acquired Baldwin & Stone.

Washington, D.C.-based MHI, with more than 20 creative and production divisions, recently acquired Atlanta-area marketing and advertising agencies Folio Z and Pollak Levitt & Partners. MHI’s clients include Oracle, America Online, IBM and Compaq.

Baldwin & Stone in Cambridge, Mass., while retaining its name and management structure, becomes a wholly owned unit of MHI.

With 1999 revenue of $3 million and 28 employees, Baldwin & Stone fits MHI’s model of acquiring “really small but award-winning, best-of-class agencies” and putting them under one roof, said Geoff Littlehale, MHI director of communications.

Terms were not disclosed, but acquisitions of similar size have topped out at about $5 million.

The acquisition is MHI’s third in the Boston area in recent months. Baldwin & Stone, whose clients include W.B. Mason, State Street Global Advisers and Standard Electric, joins Quantic Communications in Andover, Mass., and The Creative Production Company of Wakefield, Mass., to form the foundation of MHI-Boston.

If all goes according to plan, the group will expand to 10-15 agencies and operate under its own management structure, said B&S creative director Paul Stone.

While B&S will share resources with other MHI shops in Boston and elsewhere, Stone said that the goal of the acquisition was not to expand beyond local borders.

“In Boston, there are some very big players,” Stone said. “This wasa way to get to the next level ofcompetition.

Attaining that level, he added, would require 20-40 percent growth over the next several years.