Boutique Washington lobby firm C2 Group has been acquired by global consulting giant FTI Consulting, the companies plan to announce today.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
C2 Group, which in 2012 earned nearly $7 million in lobbying revenue, will be absorbed into FTI’s strategic communications group, which makes up about a fifth of the company’s overall revenue.
Tom Crawford, founding partner of C2, said all of the lobby firm’s 12 employees would stay with the company and that their compensation would remain the same.
The move comes at a time congressional gridlock is forcing K Street out of its comfort zone. In an effort to offset industry-wide declines in lobbying revenue the last two years, many firms are expanding in areas like state-level lobbying and consulting services.
“The lobbying business is being changed in a concrete and permanent way,” Crawford said. “With the gridlock we see, there’s not a lot of legislating that’s happening. A lot of lobbying firms have decided we need to be in the communications space.”
FTI, headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., has 3,900 employees in 24 countries. In 2012, the company reported $1.58 billion in revenue. Absorbing C2 Group — whose biggest clients include PepsiCo, Comcast and Yum!Brands — means expanding its Washington government affairs expertise to complement existing services in corporate finance and restructuring, crisis communications and economic consulting.
“[Businesses] no longer view lobbying as a discreet offering,” said Mark McCall, senior managing director at FTI. “It’s the integrated approach to solving a business issue that’s attractive to more and more clients.”