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
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
’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
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