Fleishman buys DC firm

WASHINGTON: A new public affairs powerhouse is about to be created, with Fleishman-Hillard on the brink of snapping up independent issues advertising and political consulting firm Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns and Associates.

WASHINGTON: A new public affairs powerhouse is about to be created, with Fleishman-Hillard on the brink of snapping up independent issues advertising and political consulting firm Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns and Associates.

WASHINGTON: A new public affairs powerhouse is about to be created, with Fleishman-Hillard on the brink of snapping up independent issues advertising and political consulting firm Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns and Associates.

While the deal is not yet complete, an agreement in principle was announced last week to both the Fleishman and GMMB staffs in Washington.

According to reports, the combined DC operation will employ nearly 300 people and have an annual revenue of more than dollars 60 million. The acquisition adds two offices to Fleishman's empire - in Seattle, WA and Santa Monica, CA.

Under the deal, the GMMB staff of about 120 people will not move into Fleishman's downtown DC office but will remain in the current Georgetown location. It is not yet known if the GMMB name will be returned to the long form.

Employees were told the combination of Fleishman, R. Duffy Wall and Associates (Fleishman's government relations subsidiary) and GMMB, creates 'one of the largest and most sophisticated public affairs powerhouses in North America.'

The two firms had competed against each other for business a number of times in recent years, before jointly pitching the mega-million AARP account in 1999.

An insider noted that Fleishman's strategy was to put 'all the players together' to reflect the changing nature of public affairs. The deal was driven by the need for an issues advertising firm that shared a culture compatible with Fleishman's, he added.

Paul Johnson, regional president and general manager of Fleishman's DC operation said, 'I cannot confirm or deny an acquisition, but we have been in discussions and have great respect and admiration for the firm and its capabilities.'



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