MDC Partners Acquires Majority of Hunter PR

MDC Partners is becoming a foodie. The holding company has acquired a majority partnership interest in consumer public relations firm Hunter Public Relations, an agency specializing in food and nutrition. 

Founded in 1989, the 100-person agency will continue to be led by three partners - Grace Leong, Jon Lyon and Jason Winocour - and will continue under the name Hunter PR. Hunter will maintain offices in New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Miami. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

One key attraction to this deal for MDC was Hunter's robust roster of well-known clients, including Tabasco Pepper Sauce, E&J Gallo Winery, Kraft Foods, and 3M, as well as McNeil, Diageo, Post and Smithfield.

Hunter, for its part, was interested in MDC's international strength and resources. “This is an extremely exciting time for Hunter PR, and with MDC as a partner, we are energized by the clear growth opportunities for our firm, our staff and our clients’ businesses,” said Managing Partner Grace Leong.

“Having found a strategic partner who shares our culture, our vision for the future, our entrepreneurial drive, and above all our focus on client service, we’re better positioned than ever before to deepen and strengthen the resources we bring to clients in new geographies and in focused areas of expertise.”

Hunter's business model expands traditional PR strategies by developing in-house specialized services and resources in areas including Hispanic marketing, social and digital media, and entertainment marketing, as well as cause-related marketing, consumer insights, and design. Collectively, these units work together to provide total communications services. 

Meanwhile, this deal is part of MDC's "opportunistic and accretive acquisition strategy." The holding company projects to add on average 3% to 5% annually in revenues via acquisition, under the strategy to focus on partnering with firms with revenues in the $10 million to $30 million range. Over the past five years, MDC says it has made over a 44% return on invested capital on all the acquisitions that it has completed. 

Hunter now joins MDC’s Strategic Communications Group’s other agencies Allison+Partners, Bryan Mills Iradesso, Exponent, HL Group, Kingsdale Shareholder Services, Kwittken, Luntz Global, Sloane & Company, and Veritas.

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