Publicis Dialog finally seizes Selz/Seabolt

CHICAGO: Publicis Dialog has finally completed its long-rumored purchase of Selz/ Seabolt Communications.

CHICAGO: Publicis Dialog has finally completed its long-rumored purchase of Selz/ Seabolt Communications.

CHICAGO: Publicis Dialog has finally completed its long-rumored

purchase of Selz/ Seabolt Communications.



The deal, which had been discussed for the last six months (PRWeek,

Aug.



23), gives Publicis the Chicago presence it has long coveted. President

and COO Andy Hopson said negotiations dragged on longer than expected

due to issues involving Selz/Seabolt’s employee stock ownership

plan.



The purchase, the latest in Publicis’ buying binge, boosts the firm’s

total US PR revenues to dollars 24 million. Other recent acquisitions

include LobsenzStevens (New York) and Purdom Public Relations (San

Francisco).



’If you’re going to be a national agency, you have to be able to service

clients nationally, and that means a Chicago presence,’ said Hopson.

Selz/ Seabolt will assume the Publicis Dialog name.



Present Selz/Seabolt management, including chairman Paul Fullmer and

president Patricia Pearson, will remain in place after the deal is

closed, likely in February. Pearson, who served as president and COO,

will become CEO and manage the Chicago office.



Fullmer, who has spent nearly 43 years with Selz/ Seabolt, owned 92% of

the firm until three years ago, when he sold his interest to the

ESOP.



He plans to remain as chairman for at least two years.



While he enjoyed running an independent firm, Fullmer said he had become

increasingly frustrated that most larger clients wanted to deal with

integrated multinational firms. ’There comes a time when you have to

move into the major leagues,’ he said.



Selz/Seabolt boasts 35 people and about dollars 4 million in PR

revenues, counting Sargento Foods and the American Society of Golf

Course Architects among its 30 clients. Fullmer expects the Chicago

office to expand shortly after the Publicis deal is consummated. ’We

should be staffing up very, very soon,’ he said.



Publicis already has an ad presence in Chicago, Publicis & Hal Riney,

and is reportedly negotiating to buy marketing service firm Frankel &

Co.



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