Sitrick hires bank to aid sale of firm

LOS ANGELES: PR consigliere Michael Sitrick has hired investment

bank Wasserstein Perella to explore the sale of his communications firm

Sitrick & Company.



Sitrick has long championed the crisis and IR firm's independent status,

but has reportedly been approached more frequently lately by leading

global communications firms. He was not available for comment.



Sitrick & Company maintains a staff of about 40, and is one of the few

heavyweight independents on the West Coast. The privately owned firm

reportedly charges some clients $450 an hour. And while it does

not make revenue figures public, one source estimated annual billings at

approximately $10 million. It also is somewhat protected from the

economic downturn, given its bankruptcy work.



Abbot Jones, a managing director at AdMedia Partners, warned: 'Prices

are not going up any further. Current negotiations are more about how

much of the deal is contingent on a company's success rate over

time.'



As well as advising on potential offers, Wasserstein Perella could be

looking at the effect Sitrick's employee stock ownership plan would have

on a deal. The firm's West Coast location also could affect its value,

though it has satellite offices in New York and Washington, DC.



Sitrick has helped lawyers represent Los Alamos National Laboratory

scientist Wen Ho Lee to the media and battled ABC's 20/20 for client

Metabolife.



He taped the network's interview with Metabolife and aired it on the Web

ahead of the broadcast.



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