McNeil Wilson, Laird Christianson buy Starr Seigle
McNeil Wilson Communications Inc. and sister company Laird Christianson Advertising Inc. will purchase Starr Seigle Communications Inc., once the perennial top-billing advertising agency in Hawaii.
Terms were not disclosed.
Once joined under a yet-unnamed holding company, the advertising, public relations, research and interactive operations will comprise Hawaii's largest all-around marketing company, with annual gross capitalized billings of more than $90 million.
"This acquisition presents an unparalleled opportunity to deliver from a single platform, business, marketing and technology solutions, from strategy through implementation," said David Wilson, co-founder of McNeil Wilson Communications and vice chairman of the holding company.
Dovetailing of the various disciplines will allow the company to offer clients a "360-degree marketing vision," said David McNeil, holding company chairman.
The companies have competed, but have also worked together for clients, said David Koch, president and chief executive officer of Starr Seigle.
"They for years have had Hawaiian Airlines (for PR) and we've had the advertising," Koch cited as an example.
Both companies are at 1001 Bishop Street, but in different towers.
"We do want to get ourselves together as soon as humanly possible," he said.
Before fully combined, there will be "swapping of soldiers," to mesh more quickly and because, "it's really fun when you cross-pollinate," said Koch.
Koch is a director of the holding company and will be an executive vice president of Laird Christianson Advertising.
That's right, one holding company, three Davids.
Laird Christianson co-founder Dennis Christianson, who initiated the deal, will be chief executive of the holding company and president of Laird Christianson Advertising. Outgoing president Buck Laird will be managing director of the holding company, in charge of integrating the companies. He plans to retire soon, McNeil said.
Senior executives of Starr Seigle will be shareholders of the holding company.
Honolulu-based merchant bank Sennet Capital LLC was retained to manage the transaction, expected to close by mid-April.
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