Mixed signals on Burson acquisition sent over wire

NEW YORK: Depending on which press release you read last week, Burson-Marsteller either did or didn't pick up a hi-tech boutique agency.

NEW YORK: Depending on which press release you read last week, Burson-Marsteller either did or didn't pick up a hi-tech boutique agency.

Last Tuesday, a press release moved on Business Wire that B-M had acquired Hart Cooper Partners, a dollars 1 million Bay Area firm specializing in emerging hi-tech companies.

Later that day, the release was removed, replaced with one that acknowledged that the firms were 'in discussions' and nothing more. Burson's EVP of media relations Peter Himler had little to say on the issue: 'There is no acquisition, but there have been discussions.' Calls to Hart Cooper Partners were not returned.

'It looks like there was a communication breakdown between the two companies,' said BW EVP Cathy Baron Tamraz.

It is well-known that Burson is in the hunt for a Bay Area acquisition to boost its burgeoning technology practice, and word on the street is that Burson is talking to almost every firm in the 415 or 650 area codes.

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