Mergers & acquisitions

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Kohnke Hanneken to be acquired by Laughlin/Constable
Kohnke Hanneken Inc. (KH), a Milwaukee-based advertising agency, has entered into receivership and plans to be acquired by Laughlin/Constable Inc., also of Milwaukee.
KH principals Rich Kohnke, Denise Kohnke and David Hanneken are negotiating an acquisition agreement, but they have already closed their office at 233 N. Water St. in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and have integrated into Laughlin/Constable’s office at 207 E. Michigan St. in downtown Milwaukee.
“I believe we share a strong creative culture and a common vision with the folks at KH – focusing on doing excellent work for our clients,” said Steven Laughlin, executive creative director at Laughlin/Constable.  “The ad business is all about ideas, and Kohnke Hanneken has generated big ideas at the highest level for their clients. They’re a great fit, and we believe our clients will be the ultimate winners.”
In addition to the three principals, nine employees of KH have moved over to Laughlin/Constable, along with the majority of KH’s clients. Rich Kohnke, Denise Kohnke and Hanneken will serve as senior vice presidents for the merged firm.
KH reported $25 million in annual billings for 2006. The firm specialized in business-to-business advertising and health care, with clients including: Nurture by Steelcase Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.; Global Healthcare Exchange LLC, Westminster, Co.; Bayshore Town Center, Glendale; Samsonite Corp., London; Doral Dental USA LLC, Mequon; WaterConcepts/WaterJoe, East Dundee, Ill.; and Digital Check Corp., Northfield, Ill.
Laughlin/Constable reported $175 million in billings in 2006 and specializes in brand development, digital marketing, design, advertising, public relations and media research and buying.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to become part of the Laughlin/Constable team,” said Denise Kohnke, president of Kohnke Hanneken. “Laughlin’s resources will have a positive impact on how we are able to service our clients. Conversely, our strategic and creative teams look forward to adding our strengths to the Laughlin/Constable portfolio.”

Baird fund completes sale of Madison pharmaceutical firm
Baird Venture Partners (BVP), the U.S.-based venture capital fund of Baird Private Equity, has successfully exited its investment in Madison-based NimbleGen Systems Inc. by the sale of the company to Roche for $272.5 million.
NimbleGen Systems produces high-density DNA microarrays used in pharmaceutical research.
BVP first invested in NimbleGen in 2001 and has maintained an active role on the company’s board of directors since its initial investment.
“Baird Venture Partners is proud to have worked with NimbleGen’s management team and fellow investors to make this company a success.” said Pete Shagory, partner of BVP. “We are very excited about the NimbleGen-Roche partnership and we think that Roche is in an ideal position to further accelerate the adoption of this technology in the marketplace.”

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