INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Kupper makes bold move into Europe

LONDON: Kupper Parker Communications, the largest independent PR agency in St. Louis, made a bold move toward international expansion last week, paying roughly dollars 1 million to acquire a 30% controlling interest in the London-based Communications in Business Group (CIB).

LONDON: Kupper Parker Communications, the largest independent PR agency in St. Louis, made a bold move toward international expansion last week, paying roughly dollars 1 million to acquire a 30% controlling interest in the London-based Communications in Business Group (CIB).

LONDON: Kupper Parker Communications, the largest independent PR

agency in St. Louis, made a bold move toward international expansion

last week, paying roughly dollars 1 million to acquire a 30% controlling

interest in the London-based Communications in Business Group (CIB).



The deal, expected to close at the end of January, is significant in

that few independents have the resources - not to mention the ambition -

to shoot for a greater overseas presence. Kupper took in roughly dollars

3 million in fees last year, placing it behind only Fleishman-Hillard

and Shandwick in St. Louis.



Kupper and CIB became familiar with one another while jointly handling a

Missouri Department of Economic Development account, according to Kupper

CEO Bruce Kupper. Negotiations lasted about six months, during which the

firms worked together on several projects to gauge their

compatibility.



Kupper boasts a number of hi-tech clients who had been inquiring about

European projects, so expansion via acquisition seemed a safe risk. ’We

really haven’t pushed it (international work) because we like to feel we

have the resources on the ground before taking on such projects,’ Kupper

said.



CIB only employs a half-dozen PR pros, but Kupper expects to increase

this figure after the union of the two agencies is formalized. Kupper’s

30% stake in CIB, which has offices in London, Milan and Dusseldorf,

will make it the firm’s largest shareholder.



Kupper has been on an acquisition binge recently, snapping up five

advertising and marketing firms over the past four years. It has roughly

160 employees and ended its most recent fiscal year with dollars 20

million in total revenues.



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