Publicis Dialog closes in on acquisition of Chicago’s Selz-Seabolt

CHICAGO: Talk that Publicis Dialog is close to acquiring Selz/Seabolt Communications surfaced anew in Windy City PR circles last week.

CHICAGO: Talk that Publicis Dialog is close to acquiring Selz/Seabolt Communications surfaced anew in Windy City PR circles last week.

CHICAGO: Talk that Publicis Dialog is close to acquiring

Selz/Seabolt Communications surfaced anew in Windy City PR circles last

week.



While a Publicis spokesperson said the company had no comment about the

rumors, a Chicago source familiar with the negotiations said final

details are being ironed out and the deal will be completed within the

next few days.



Another source, however, noted the long-rumored purchase (PRWeek, August

23) has gone through a series of fits and starts, making it unclear how

soon an arrangement will be consummated.



Should Publicis pull the trigger on the deal, it will have completed

another aspect of its PR acquisition strategy, which called for

purchases in San Francisco (accomplished through September’s addition of

Purdom Public Relations) and New York (last month’s purchase of

LobsenzStevens).



A Washington, DC agency with public affairs capabilities is likely next

on the French holding company’s shopping list. Additionally, Publicis

Dialog prexy Andy Hopson has hinted that the agency may still be looking

at other firms in New York and San Francisco.



Selz/Seabolt, an employee-owned operation, has been a rumored takeover

target for some time. Chicago PR pros said Paul Fullmer, its 65-year-old

chairman and CEO, is ready to cash out, a rumor given credence earlier

this year when Fullmer elevated Patricia Pearson to the post of

president/COO.



Fullmer had been president since 1979 and CEO since 1982, while Pearson

joined the company last year from Burson-Marsteller’s Chicago office.



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