2e Creative has made its first acquisition, buying Indiana-based marketing, sales training, and events firm Fire & Rain.

The owners of both Midwest-based agencies have known each other for about 10 years through industry groups. The two firms worked together on a year-long partnership before finalizing the acquisition.

“As I’m watching the healthcare advertising business evolve, the nature and role of agencies evolved with it,” said Ross Toohey, CEO of 2e. “We saw a real need for there to be a bridge between the work that a healthcare advertising agency is doing on brand side and the work that’s being executed in the field force with the sales team.”

Fire & Rain’s services span marketing, technical communications, salesforce training, video production, and corporate events. The combined agencies will go to market under the 2e brand. The firms have worked together for a few clients, including Novartis eye care division Alcon, Toohey said.

2e is led by Toohey, its CEO, and COO Jessica Boden, who joined the group from StoneArch Creative in Minneapolis this year. Steve Roseman took over Toohey’s previous role as president of 2e Creative in May, according to LinkedIn.

Fire & Rain president Ron Bonger will remain at the firm in his current role and report to Toohey. There are no planned job cuts from the acquisition.

Along with adding Fire & Rain’s sales expertise, the agency is also growing its geographic reach. Boden established a 2e office in San Diego, and the firm also has staffers based in New York and New Jersey, where many pharma clients are based. While the agency will continue to be based in the Midwest, Toohey said he wants to expand the firm’s presence on both coasts.

The group has “a few” more deals and partnerships on the horizon, he added.

2e reported revenue of $9 million in 2017, with 3.4% revenue growth over the previous year. Toohey didn’t disclose financial details of the deal, but said he anticipates combined gross profit for the merged agency of between $18 million and $25 million.

“It was the next logical step for us,” Toohey said. “Since [the two firms’] client base and our skill set didn’t overlap, it really was synergy in the truest sense. Our next step is build on the platform.” 

This story was updated on September 20 with additional information.