Over the past several meetings with analysts, executives at holding company MDC Partners have said the firm would cut back significantly on the number of acquisitions it makes this year. But so far, it has shown no signs of slowing down -- it’s averaging more than one a month. The latest is the purchase of TargetCast TCM, a New York independent media agency founded a decade ago by agency veterans Steve Farella and Audrey Siegel.
The Targetcast purchase adds another roughly $600 million in billings annually.
MDC executives have indicated that acquisition targets focusing on media might be an exception to their pledge to cut back; it is an area where the pace of acquisitions could speed up. During its earnings conference call with analysts last month, company CEO Miles Nadal said he felt the company was at a “strategic disadvantage,” given its lack of scale on the media side of the business.
As a sign of the importance it attaches to building its media portfolio, MDC has also formed a separate division to manage its media assets: Maxxcom Global Media. Farella, the TargetCast CEO, will also serve as CEO of Maxxcom.
MDC shops that will come under the Maxxcom banner include the recently acquired R.J. Palmer, Media Kitchen (initially developed as a unit of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners), Integrated Media Solutions and Varick Media Management. Maxxcom will manage about $1.5 billion of the holding company’s media assets.
Commenting on the formation of the new division, Nadal stated: “We are dedicated to building a new kind of media network, built on entrepreneurship, innovation and creative solutions for clients."
MDC kicked off the New Year with the purchase of New York-based independent media shop R.J. Palmer. Nadal said at the time that the holding company’s goal was to reach $10 billion in media billings over the next five to 10 years through growth and acquisitions. The RJP acquisition added billings of over $800 million and nearly doubled MDC’s total, bringing it to almost $2 billion.
TargetCast has about 110 employees with clients that include AMC, Expedia, Hotels.com, New York Life and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.