New York: Havas Advertising has bought IR shop Abernathy McGregor Group for an estimated pounds 50m after Cordiant Communications retreated from the bidding.
It is understood to have agreed to pay pounds 30m now, with a further pounds 20m earn-out if targets are met. Agency founder James Abernathy said: 'We intend to build the Abernathy McGregor brand in the US and overseas.' Abernathy and partner James McGregor will give away more than pounds 3m to staff.
The agency, which has worked this year for Vivendi and Viacom, will sit in the diversified agencies group, headed by Patrick Lemarchand.
Havas Advertising also bought Middleberg & Associates earlier this year and counts Magnet Communications and the UK's Hudson Sandler among its PR assets.
Buyers still have the choice of other independent IR practices, including Kekst & Co, Joele Frank, Brainerd Communications and The Torrenzano Group.