Investment deal means EPB is in shopping mode

NEW YORK: EPB Communications, the parent company of Earle Palmer Brown/PR, has partnered with The Destination Group (TDG), a private equity firm, to establish a new agency-holding company called Panoramic Communications.

NEW YORK: EPB Communications, the parent company of Earle Palmer Brown/PR, has partnered with The Destination Group (TDG), a private equity firm, to establish a new agency-holding company called Panoramic Communications.

NEW YORK: EPB Communications, the parent company of Earle Palmer Brown/PR, has partnered with The Destination Group (TDG), a private equity firm, to establish a new agency-holding company called Panoramic Communications.

Headquartered in New York, Panoramic will initially be composed of EPB's 16 companies and has been created to provide the muscle required for aggressive acquisition across all areas.

'TDG will provide capital, management and value-added media resources, as well as offer important synergies that will ultimately translate into new opportunities for the entire Panoramic network,' said the firm in a prepared statement issued as the deal was announced.

According to Jeb Brown, CEO of the newly formed entity, EPB had revenues of dollars 30 million in 1999, dollars 100 million in 2000 and, as a result of the deal, is hoping to have revenues of dollars 250 million by the end of 2003.

Public relations currently generates about dollars 15 million (15%) of the company's total income, with the rest largely accounted for by advertising. Brown added that the firm hopes to increase this to 20% - which means a goal of dollars 50 million in PR revenues - by the end of 2003.

EPB, whose client roster includes Coca-Cola, IBM, Boeing, Marriott, USPS and the US Treasury, claims to be the second largest privately held integrated communications company in the US.

One agency source said the bottom line of the new partnership was that EPB will gain the financial resources to grow its existing companies - including Earle Palmer Brown/PR - as well as have the resources to acquire additional firms.

Brown said that Panoramic has letters of intent in process from several major companies here and abroad in the new media, traditional advertising and public relations disciplines. The company expects to announce several acquisitions in the near future.

In the area of PR, Brown said that he is in 'active conversation' with a number of firms and could have an announcement by the end of February.

'It's a win-win for our clients as well as for our employees,' he said.



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