Red Flag Consulting, a Dublin-based communications group led by Karl Brophy and led by Gavin O’Reilly, has acquired one of Washington DC‘s oldest trade lobbying firms to strengthen its US business.
It has acquired International Business-Government Counselors (IBC) who specialize in providing technical advice to large corporations on trade legislation and networking them with Capitol Hill’s policy makers.
His clients include Ford, Lockheed Martin, Cadbury owner Mondelez, Shell, Toyota and Volkswagen.
Irish business workers were informed of the deal on Tuesday. It is believed that Red Flag has agreed to pay a seven-figure sum for the IBC, which also runs the political-corporate forum of the Washington International Business Council. It arranges meetings between corporate clients of the company and US politicians to discuss the impact of legal formalities on their business.
Red Flag is already lobbying under its own banner in DC, with a particular focus on food industry customers such as the National Coffee Association and the North American Meat Institute, which represents all major US meat producers.
Red Flag international trade expert and former US diplomat Melissa San Miguel, who heads the company’s US operations, will oversee both the existing Red Flag operations there and the integration of the new acquisition. IBC’s seasoned directors, Solveig Spielmann and John McDermid, will remain to serve the company.
The addition of IBC will increase Red Flag’s workforce by 10 to around 60 across Dublin, London, the US, South Africa and Brussels. The customer list in Europe includes companies such as Google and Diageo. It previously operated an office in Singapore but closed it at the beginning of the pandemic.
Mr. Brophy, the majority shareholder, and Mr. O’Reilly founded Red Flag in 2013, one year after leaving Independent News & Media where Mr. O’Reilly was CEO.
Mr. Brophy insisted that Red Flag has had “a very strong 15 months” and is “busier than ever.”
“The pandemic is accelerating the demand from existing and new customers for quick specialist advice, communication and campaigns,” he said on Tuesday evening.
“This is a very important acquisition by a very respected and established Washington DC company. We have a very clear idea of what customers want and need now, and IBC’s expertise perfectly complements Red Flag’s existing offering. “