Edelman admits public float of company could be on the horizon

NEW YORK: Edelman, long the subject of ’will they or won’t they sell?’ speculation, may well be heading in a different direction: an IPO.

NEW YORK: Edelman, long the subject of ’will they or won’t they sell?’ speculation, may well be heading in a different direction: an IPO.

NEW YORK: Edelman, long the subject of ’will they or won’t they

sell?’ speculation, may well be heading in a different direction: an

IPO.



President and CEO Richard Edelman admitted last week that a public float

of company stock could be on the horizon.



’The great thing about the way the markets have shifted is that

everything doesn’t have to be an Internet story,’ he said, explaining

that one option is to sell a stake in the company to a media-oriented VC

firm.



’We have to get a bit larger to get them to pay attention to us,’

Edelman continued. ’Pundits have said we’d need to have a market

capitalization of around dollars 1 billion for an effective IPO.’ The

other option is to fund it through debt.



Merrill Lynch media analyst Lauren Rich Fine, who recently met with

Edelman, was optimistic about the IPO possibility.



’If you asked me six months ago, I would have said the market is too

focused on tech,’ she said. ’Now, it’s more diversified. The question is

whether they need or want to be a public company.’ Rich Fine added that

when analysts examine companies in the marketing-services sector, they

look for diversity of clients and geography - both of which Edelman has

in spades.



Should Edelman go ahead with the plan, it would be the only PR agency

traded on the US exchanges. In the UK, Text 100 is listed on the London

market. Before being bought by Interpublic, Shandwick had traded in the

US



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