Weber heads south for Latin PR partners

BUENOS AIRES: Larry Weber and Interpublic are wrapping up their shopping list of PR firms in Latin America. Weber, CEO of newly formed PR giant Weber/Shandwick, said he has already started acquisition negotiations with two of the top three Brazilian firms.

BUENOS AIRES: Larry Weber and Interpublic are wrapping up their shopping list of PR firms in Latin America. Weber, CEO of newly formed PR giant Weber/Shandwick, said he has already started acquisition negotiations with two of the top three Brazilian firms.

BUENOS AIRES: Larry Weber and Interpublic are wrapping up their shopping list of PR firms in Latin America. Weber, CEO of newly formed PR giant Weber/Shandwick, said he has already started acquisition negotiations with two of the top three Brazilian firms.

Though he declined to reveal the names of the firms, sources in Sao Paulo say the most likely candidates are Fleishman-Hillard's affiliate Gaspar & Asociados, the region's top firm with revenues of dollars 4.4 million in 1999, and Nueva Comunicacion's partner in Sao Paulo, Companhia de Noticias, which had revenues of dollars 4.2 million in 1999. Sources said that Weber covets Gaspar as the best option.

One of the two will likely become part of Interpublic's network of PR agencies under the brand of Nueva Comunicacion, which Weber bought earlier this year in an effort to gain a foothold in Latin America.

Weber's shopping tour now heads to Mexico, where he will follow the advice of Nueva president and CEO Cesar Mansilla, who will coordinate Interpublic's regional network of PR firms. Mansilla will also advise on further possible acquisitions in Spain, where Interpublic already has Shandwick Iberica, which ranks second locally. Nueva's network partner in Spain is Asesores 2000, which ranks seventh. Sources say Asesores could become an acquisition target for Interpublic.

The next step will take Weber to Chile, where he plans to start acquisition talks with JC&L, the Chilean affiliate of Nueva. Santiago-based JC&L is fourth in that market with yearly revenues of dollars 1million.

Weber also plans to extend Interpublic's network to Colombia and Venezuela, although he said that he prefers an affiliation there rather than buying.

He also said he plans to add Nueva's partner in Havana, Cuba, as affiliate of Interpublic. 'Cuba will be growing in importance,' he said.





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