WASHINGTON: PR agency Gibraltar Associates has merged with consulting firm McBee Strategic Consulting.
Gibraltar will operate as the strategic communications business unit of McBee, known as McBee|Gibraltar.
Gibraltar co-founder and CEO Eric Bovim will stay on as MD of the division, reporting to McBee President and CEO Steve McBee.
Thomas Pernice, co-founder and chairman of Gibraltar, will move to the newly created role of senior adviser, and he will remain in Los Angeles and work on the firm's cross-enterprise business development.
Gibraltar's DC-based team has relocated to McBee's Washington headquarters. The agency has a combined staff of 70.
Talks between the two agencies began last summer and wrapped near the end of the year, said Bovim. Neither firm disclosed the financial details of the deal.
“We wanted to scale up to compete for business with the bigger firms,” Bovim said.
For McBee, continuing on without strategic communications capabilities would have been “like fighting with one arm behind your back,” McBee added.
Decade-old McBee provides advocacy, strategy, sector and industry analysis, Washington research, and government and commercial capital formation for organizations in the defense, transportation, and energy sectors.
Gibraltar launched as a two-person start-up in 2007. It earned $4.9 million in revenue in 2011, up 24% compared with the year prior. In March 2011, Gibraltar acquired TheWadeGroup, a Washington-based communications shop.