Kamber Group is off auction block, onto big biz boom

WASHINGTON, DC: Despite being pursued by a number of potential buyers - rumored to include DC public affairs heavyweights APCO and Hill & Knowlton - the Kamber Group is no longer on the auction block.

WASHINGTON, DC: Despite being pursued by a number of potential buyers - rumored to include DC public affairs heavyweights APCO and Hill & Knowlton - the Kamber Group is no longer on the auction block.

WASHINGTON, DC: Despite being pursued by a number of potential

buyers - rumored to include DC public affairs heavyweights APCO and Hill

& Knowlton - the Kamber Group is no longer on the auction block.



The firm, which founder Victor Kamber claims is the largest independent

public affairs shop in Washington, had been experiencing more than its

share of financial problems as recently as three months ago (PRWeek,

Dec.



6, 1999). Among the options considered, in addition to a sale, were

getting new investors or simply closing down. However, a surge in new

business over the last few weeks has reduced the need for the agency to

take shelter under the umbrella of a larger agency.



Stories about the search for a buyer generated interest from

approximately 20 firms and several clients. Ultimately, Kamber had

’serious discussions’ with three of them, which he would only identify

as two international agencies and a conglomerate with a communications

arm.



Kamber added that while he is still willing to entertain offers and that

talks with potential buyers are ’still alive,’ they are no longer a

priority for him. He also predicted that 2000 will be his firm’s ’best

year ever.’



Although the Kamber Group turned a profit in both ’98 and ’99 (in which

it billed dollars 7.5 million), the firm was fighting to overcome a

dollars 1.4 million loss incurred in ’97. Accounts added in the first 10

weeks of 2000 are projected to add dollars 3 million to the top

line.



Among the additions are a dollars 10 million, five-year effort for the

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, a labor/management

campaign designed to recruit business and new members. The agency will

also be providing general PR counsel to the Screen Actors Guild and the

Sheet Metal Workers International Association, and trade-show support

for the Amalgamated Transit Union’s 2001 convention.



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