Dollars 150m Sard Verbinnen price tag stuns PR industry

NEW YORK: Incepta Group’s dollars 150 million acquisition of IR firm Sard Verbinnen last week (PRWeek, April 10) has left industry observers wondering just how high the price of PR firms can go.

NEW YORK: Incepta Group’s dollars 150 million acquisition of IR firm Sard Verbinnen last week (PRWeek, April 10) has left industry observers wondering just how high the price of PR firms can go.

NEW YORK: Incepta Group’s dollars 150 million acquisition of IR

firm Sard Verbinnen last week (PRWeek, April 10) has left industry

observers wondering just how high the price of PR firms can go.



M&A specialist Sard, with just dollars 13.8 million in fee income and

profits of dollars 2 million, was bought by the UK-based Incepta for

dollars 58 million, with a further dollars 92 million available based on

future financial performance.



Independents were stunned by the price tag. ’Nobody has ever come to me

with a 29 times pre-tax offer,’ said one, ’It changes the dynamics of

the market.’ Another admitted he was reconsidering his staunch

independence: ’If a company with dollars 14 million and 14% margins is

worth dollars 58 million, I shudder to think what we would get. The guys

at Robinson Lerer & Montgomery must be pissed.’



Incepta chief executive David Wright declined to comment on the price,

but he did confirm that his UK-based communications giant expected its

global income to reach dollars 160 million in 2000, with hi-tech,

design, advertising and corporate branding acquisitions currently on the

target list.



What will happen to the M&A division of Sard’s new sister company,

Citigate Dewe Rogerson, remains unclear. One option mooted internally

was to fold CDR’s M&A practice into Sard, but it is understood that the

newly acquired agency is diametrically opposed to consolidation of the

businesses. Instead, Sard reportedly wants to use Incepta’s resources

while retaining a separate structure.



CDR’s transactions and strategic communications division is led by

managing director Owen Blicksilver - who, ironically, worked at Ogilvy,

Adams & Rhinehart alongside George Sard.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in