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,
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
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
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
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.