Vorhaus and Edelman differ on deal offer

NEW YORK: Vorhaus & Company is a two-office firm with 28 staffers and 1999 fee income of dollars 2.7 million - placing it 131st in PRWeek’s agency rankings. But to hear founder Robbie Vorhaus tell it, the firm was on the brink of becoming a major global player a few weeks ago.

NEW YORK: Vorhaus & Company is a two-office firm with 28 staffers and 1999 fee income of dollars 2.7 million - placing it 131st in PRWeek’s agency rankings. But to hear founder Robbie Vorhaus tell it, the firm was on the brink of becoming a major global player a few weeks ago.

NEW YORK: Vorhaus & Company is a two-office firm with 28 staffers

and 1999 fee income of dollars 2.7 million - placing it 131st in

PRWeek’s agency rankings. But to hear founder Robbie Vorhaus tell it,

the firm was on the brink of becoming a major global player a few weeks

ago.



Vorhaus said last week that he turned down an offer which would have

placed him atop a new entity majority-owned by Edelman. He claims to

have been offered a deal that would have given him control over Edelman

hi-tech brand PR21 (which is currently without a CEO) as well as the

overseas offices recently acquired from Rowland.



’What he (Edelman president and CEO Richard Edelman) wanted to do was

take PR21 and Rowland International and combine them with Vorhaus to

create a new company with dollars 24 million in billings,’ Vorhaus said.

But he declined the deal: ’It wasn’t the right time for us. We have

worked very hard at building our own brand. I’m flattered he considered

me.’



Edelman, however, disputed Vorhaus’ claims, saying that Vorhaus was only

one of 30 people he talked with about running PR21. Edelman also denied

ever having discussed abandoning the PR21 brand name.



While Vorhaus said the alleged deal foundered over his refusal to give

up majority control of the firm to Edelman, Richard Edelman scoffs at

the claim that negotiations even advanced that far. ’It was one lunch,’

he said. ’It never got to the point where we discussed points of

negotiation on fees or size.’



Edelman confirmed that he is looking to build PR21 - which recorded fee

income of dollars 7 million in 1999, according to PRWeek’s agency

rankings - into a major brand that would complement the main Edelman

brand. ’I need someone with more of a technology background to lead it,’

he said.



Vorhaus clients include Domino’s Pizza, GM and Heinz.



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