Kamber ’facing reality’ as suitors move in for the kill

WASHINGTON, DC: The Kamber Group, which bills itself as the largest DC-based independent public affairs firm, is on the block, with a sale possible within upcoming months.

WASHINGTON, DC: The Kamber Group, which bills itself as the largest DC-based independent public affairs firm, is on the block, with a sale possible within upcoming months.

WASHINGTON, DC: The Kamber Group, which bills itself as the largest

DC-based independent public affairs firm, is on the block, with a sale

possible within upcoming months.



For the first time, agency president/CEO Victor Kamber admitted his firm

is in ’serious conversation’ with a potential suitor. He stressed,

however, that nothing is imminent. ’My assumption is that if nothing

happens during the next three to five months, then nothing will happen,’

he said.



Speculation about The Kamber Group’s status is nothing new. Though the

agency turned a profit in 1998 and will do so again this year, it is

still trying to overcome a dollars 1.4 million loss in 1997. Kamber said

he is ’facing reality’ and conceded that the financial setback taught

him that ’it is nice to have deeper pockets.’ The 1997 difficulties, he

added, have made discussions on selling the firm ’more immediate.’



To deal with the setback, Kamber was forced to reduce his staff, which

resulted in a loss of clients. In addition, the firm earlier this year

sold its Los Angeles office back to its founder, Harvey Englander, five

years after buying it from him (PRWeek, April 12). The Kamber Group

currently bills about dollars 7.5 million and boasts a staff of 60.



Part of the challenge of selling the agency, Kamber said, is its client

base, which includes unions, public interest groups and attorneys.

’We’re a different breed,’ he said. Kamber has fielded several inquires

from companies outside the PR industry, including printers and money

managers, that want to forge relationships with these clients.



’If someone comes in with the right offer, we’d sell,’ he said. ’But I’m

doing more than sitting around and waiting for people to call.’



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