International News: Brodeur claims stake in French tech shop

PARIS: Brodeur Worldwide bolstered its already formidable overseas hi-tech practice last week by acquiring a 35% stake in French hi-tech agency Sophie Renard Relations Publiques (SRRP), a dollars 3.3 million firm with which Brodeur had previously affiliated.

PARIS: Brodeur Worldwide bolstered its already formidable overseas hi-tech practice last week by acquiring a 35% stake in French hi-tech agency Sophie Renard Relations Publiques (SRRP), a dollars 3.3 million firm with which Brodeur had previously affiliated.

PARIS: Brodeur Worldwide bolstered its already formidable overseas

hi-tech practice last week by acquiring a 35% stake in French hi-tech

agency Sophie Renard Relations Publiques (SRRP), a dollars 3.3 million

firm with which Brodeur had previously affiliated.



The 40-person agency, which grew 35% last year, will continue to be led

by president Sophie Renard and will be known as Brodeur SRRP. The deal

also gives Brodeur a stake in SRRP 1, an organization spun off last year

to work with start-ups located primarily in France.



This is the sixth European PR agency to enter into an equity agreement

with Brodeur since January 1997, the others being Brodeur Schoep & Van

der Toorn (Netherlands), Brodeur Image Time (Italy), Brodeur A Plus

(UK), Brodeur Comunicacion Empresarial (Spain) and Brodeur Kohtes &

Klewes (Germany).



According to Brodeur, France is a key player in what is expected to be a

dollars 30 billion Western European e-commerce market by 2001. Agency

president Andrea Carney declined to comment on the value of the deal, or

whether it was a cash or stock transaction.



Carney said that the acquisition rounds out Brodeur’s offerings in

continental Europe. ’Part of our strategy in Europe was to look at

established cornerstones in key markets,’ she said. She added that the

relationship between the two firms is unlikely to change significantly,

as Brodeur has treated SRRP as an equity partner since the two agencies

began working together.



Mike Copland, managing director of Brodeur Worldwide EMEA (Europe, the

Middle East and Africa), added that he believes Brodeur now has the

strongest technology-focused organization in Europe. ’For a company

coming through the Brodeur organization and looking to be serviced

throughout Europe, the starting points are the UK, Germany and France,’

he said. ’If we’re not strong in those three markets, there’s a gap in

our overall presence.’



SRRP, headquartered in Paris, works with such powerhouse brands as 3Com,

Lycos, MCI WorldCom, Minolta and Adobe. Over the course of their

affiliation, Brodeur and SRRP have shared clients such as IBM and

Avnet.



Carney said that Brodeur has wanted to take a stake in SRRP since the

two began working together, but that the timing only recently had become

’mutually beneficial’ for a formal deal.



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