WASHINGTON: Fleishman-Hillard is poised to walk away with one of the most coveted Washington acquisitions this year, announcing last week that it had an informal agreement to purchase lobbying powerhouse Quinn Gillespie.
"Quinn Gillespie has an agreement in principle to be acquired by Fleishman," said regional director Paul Johnson. Terms haven't been finalized yet, but both parties expect to ink a deal within the month.
Founded just three years ago by former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn and veteran GOP strategist Ed Gillespie, Quinn Gillespie quickly became one of the fastest-growing and most sought-after government-relations shops in town. The announcement that it was ready to be acquired earlier this summer sparked a bidding war among the town's top PR shops. Fleishman parent Omnicom was rumored to be a leading contender from the beginning.
The announcement of the deal puts to rest speculation that Gillespie was leaving the firm to take a White House job, possibly replacing press secretary Ari Fleischer. Sources close to the deal made it clear that Gillespie's continued presence at the firm was vital to any acquisition.