Birmingham-based PR and advertising agency Seal Communications has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by marketing communications operation the Morris Company
As part of the deal Spirit Marketing Solutions, Morris's Shropshire-based PR and marketing consultancy, will be re-branded Seal with the enlarged business employing 40 staff from offices in Birmingham, London and Shrewsbury.
Steven Dann, who led a management buy out of Seal three years ago, will be retained as managing director to work alongside the new director Chris Morris and chief executive Katie Morris.
Central TV presenter Bob Warman, Seal's current chairman, will be retained as a consultant, along with Claire Deeley as deputy MD and Phil Birchall as creative director.
Seal's existing staff will be retained with Jo Mathers heading the Birmingham PR operation and Katrina Jones remaining at the helm of the consultancy's London office.
The £20 million turnover Morris Company was founded over 135 years ago.
The acquisition of Seal is part of the company's strategic aim of developing one of the
UK's leading marketing communications businesses.
The group's other interests include property and residential care homes.
Seal Communications has seen turnover rise to around £3 million in the last 12 months.
In 2003 the company acquired and integrated Michels Warren, a Londonbased travel and lifestyle PR consultancy, while last year the Birmingham-based Warman Group was also merged into Seal.
Chris Morris, Seal's new director, said: "Seal is a strong brand and we are looking forward to taking the business onto its next level of growth.
The merger with our current PR operation Spirit immediately takes the new-look Seal into the top ten regional PR companies.
"With the complementary clients and skills we now have as a combined agency, I am confident we have the talent and experience to maximise the opportunities ahead of us."
Mr Dann, who joined Seal 23 years ago, said the deal came on the back of the company's most successful year and represented the start of a new era for the company.
He said: "It will provide the impetus to take the Seal brand to new levels through further investment and the introduction of new people.
"As well as having an impressive business track record stretching back more than 100 years the Morris Company is a substantial and dynamic organisation that shares our values of putting people first."
Seal would continue to focus on the core industry sectors of retailing, food and drink, leisure, tourism and business to business. Current clients include Punch Taverns, Dragons Health Clubs, Julian Graves, Wing Yip, Mid Counties Co-op, Kumala Wines, Piccadilly Circus and Tourism New South Wales.