Ramey Attracts Majority Investor

Investment group Viking Capital Ventures has reached an agreement to acquire a majority interest in The Ramey Agency. Terms were not disclosed.
Based in Greenwood, Miss., VCV is a unit of Ramey client Viking Range Corp., which is owned by its chief executive officer, Fred Carl Jr., and affiliates of Little Rock, Ark., investment bank Stephens Inc.
Ramey–based in Ridgeland, Miss., with an office in Memphis, Tenn.–sees the acquisition as an opportunity to beef up its interactive capabilities and explore acquisitions of other regional agencies, said the shop’s CEO, Chris Ray.
“The vision of our founder, Tommy Ramey, was to break out of the Deep South and become a super-regional agency,” said Ray. “This investment accelerates that vision.”
Ray spent nearly 10 years at The Ramey Agency before leaving in 1998. He rejoined the agency in late 1999 after Ramey’s death.
Ray said the deal will provide the $30 million shop with an opportunity to continue growing despite the pending departure of its Mississippi tourism advertising account. The Ramey Agency chose not to defend that business in a review following the election of new governor David Musgrove.
Viking’s Carl said, “The Ramey Agency has had a solid year combining new business wins and growth from existing clients.” In fact, Viking last week handed the agency an assignment to launch its new line of cookware.
Ray and Carl said the agency is evaluating options for launching a separate interactive venture. K