Rumors say WPP, Abernathy in deal

NEW YORK: Abernathy MacGregor has once again found itself at the center of speculation that it is about to be acquired, this time by global behemoth WPP Group.

NEW YORK: Abernathy MacGregor has once again found itself at the center of speculation that it is about to be acquired, this time by global behemoth WPP Group.

NEW YORK: Abernathy MacGregor has once again found itself at the center of speculation that it is about to be acquired, this time by global behemoth WPP Group.

While managing partner Jim Abernathy refused comment, sources close to the talks hinted that the two parties are nearing an agreement.

Abernathy MacGregor - one of the few remaining IR independents - was reportedly close to a deal with Young & Rubicam as recently as last November.

Those talks, however, were never consummated, and the two companies have remained close (Abernathy is Y&R's IR agency of record).

WPP has been very vocal about wanting to increase its PR holdings. The company's interim 2000 results showed PR and public affairs revenue growth of almost 40%, to dollars 227 million. By comparison, advertising is up only 17%.

WPP chairman and CEO Martin Sorrell did not return calls for comment by press time.



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