INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Fleishman snaps up PA expert Allyn

DALLAS: Fleishman-Hillard has boosted its public affairs clout in

Texas by acquiring Allyn & Co.

The firms did not disclose financial terms of the deal, brokered by York

consultant James Arnold and under negotiation for more than a year.

Allyn & Co. employs nearly 20 staffers with 2001 gross billings

estimated at $6 million, including some political ad revenue.

Allyn & Co. will operate independently as a Fleishman company.

Founder Rob Allyn said he talked to three other large PR firms or

conglomerates, but was attracted to Fleishman's strong Texas presence

and understanding of public affairs. He added that some other groups

wouldn't allow PR firms to do political work or graphic design, two of

his agency's strengths.

"(Rob Allyn's) going to be an integral part of our public affairs

practice group," said John Graham, Fleishman's chairman and CEO. "We

expect him to be involved in national and international pitching."

Allyn & Co. has grown in size and influence since founder Allyn worked

on Vicente Fox's successful campaign for the Mexican presidency. Since

Fox's election, Allyn & Co. opened an office in Mexico City, and

established its Rose & Allyn joint venture in Phoenix. The firm also

employs staff in Austin.

This deal follows closely on the heels of Fleishman's December

acquisition of Washington's Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns &

Associates, and plays into the agency's strategy of focusing on public

affairs as a growth area.

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