Padilla Sold to Montreal-based Avenir Global
Minneapolis-based Padilla, one of the nation’s largest independent public relations firms, has been acquired by Montreal-based Avenir Global. Terms of the deal, which closed on Tuesday, were not disclosed. Padilla has a long history in Minneapolis; the company was founded in 1961.
“We really weren’t up for sale,” said Lynn Casey, who has served as Padilla’s CEO since 2001. “We found really a perfect fit with Avenir Global.”
Padilla’s annual revenue is approximately $40 million. The company has 210 employees in six offices across the U.S. with operations in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. Padilla has been employee-owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The company’s client roster includes 3M, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and Cargill Animal Nutrition.
Padilla was recently ranked as the 7th largest independent public relations firm in the U.S. by O’Dwyer’s, a PR and marketing industry trade publication.
Avenir Global is a holding and management company of public relations and communications firms. Including Padilla staffers, Avenir will have 760 employees in 21 offices in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. The company’s acquisition of Padilla is part of its long-term growth strategy to expand geographically.
“Coincidentally, this actually happened as my successor and I were planning my transition,” Casey told Twin Cities Business. Casey is stepping down as CEO, but will remain as chair of the company. Matt Kucharski, president of Padilla, will now lead day-to-day operations. Casey and Kucharski will both report to Jean-Pierre Vasseur, Avenir’s CEO.
“We were working towards an end-of-June transition and we just delayed that a month,” said Casey. Kucharski, who joined the agency in 1989, was named Padilla’s president in February 2017.
In recent years, Padilla was growing partly due to its own acquisitions.
“We’ve made several acquisitions over the past five years and broadened our service offerings,” said Casey.
Padilla acquired Chicago-based FoodMinds LLC, which is focused on food and nutrition-related communications and consulting, in June 2016. Padilla also owns the Joe Smith brand consultancy and market research firm SMS Research Advisors, also based in Minneapolis.
Padilla acquired SMS Research Advisors and Richmond, Virginia-based CRT/tanaka in 2013; it acquired Joe Smith in 2015. In 2017, the agency streamlined its name from PadillaCRT to simply Padilla.