Cohn & Wolfe acquires Courtney Rainey

Passing the Torch

News today that independent PR firm, Courtney Rainey, has been acquired by Cohn & Wolfe. Cohn & Wolfe operates in Canada as the conflict agency of National PR. (In a separate transaction several years back, Burson Marstellar acquired 20% of National.)

Courtney Rainey has been headed up by founder Susanne Courtney and Sharon Rainey. They will join Cohn and Wolfe as Senior Vice Presidents.
Both Courtney and Rainey have played an active role in founding and shaping the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms. Their energy and dedication will be missed by the other members of the CCPRF.

* Thanks to Julie Rusciolelli for the tip to this move.

The full text of the release announcing the acquisition follows:

TORONTO, Ontario – January 16, 2007 – Cohn & Wolfe | Canada announced today the acquisition of Courtney Rainey Group Inc. and the integration of its 13 employees with the 55 employees of Cohn & Wolfe’s Toronto office.

The new organization will offer clients of both firms access to an enhanced team of public relations professionals and to a broader array of communications services. It will operate under the Cohn & Wolfe name, leveraging the brand’s strong reputation for creativity and communications excellence as well as its international network of offices.

The merged firm’s clients include leading corporations from the corporate, financial, healthcare, technology and consumer products sectors.

Founded as Courtney Public Relations Inc. in 1999 by Susanne Courtney, the firm became Courtney Rainey Group in 2002, one year after Sharon Rainey joined as partner.

“Courtney Rainey is a great addition to our team,” said Carol Panasiuk, executive vice president and general manager of Cohn & Wolfe’s Toronto office. “It’s a like-minded firm that over the past seven years has established a strong and loyal client base, and delivered results-driven programs and flawless execution for both Canadian and U.S. organizations.”

“Our common commitment to senior, hands-on counsel, in-depth sectoral expertise, creativity and cultural fit is what makes this such a great move for both firms,” said Susanne Courtney. “Our team is looking forward to integrating with a more fully resourced organization and our clients will benefit from an enhanced offering, including the same high quality service Courtney Rainey Group has always delivered.”

The move will see Susanne Courtney and Sharon Rainey become senior vice-presidents of Cohn & Wolfe and members of the management team led by Ms. Panasiuk.
In October 2006, Cohn & Wolfe | Canada acquired Extend Communications in Calgary which now operates under the name Cohn & Wolfe | Calgary. With the acquisition of Courtney Rainey, Cohn & Wolfe | Canada now has 85 employees in its Toronto, Montreal and Calgary offices. It is wholly-owned by RES PUBLICA Consulting Group, which is also the, parent company of NATIONAL Public Relations. Cohn &Wolfe | Canada is an affiliate of Cohn & Wolfe Worldwide, a leading international firm with 12 offices around the globe, providing business results and marketing communications solutions to clients in a wide range of business sectors.