French/West/Vaughan buys 50% stake in AMP3 PR

FWV is also folding its New York operations under AMP3's brand and leadership.

FWV CEO Rick French
FWV CEO Rick French

RALEIGH, NC: French/West/Vaughan has acquired half of boutique fashion agency AMP3 PR.

FWV and AMP3 staffers in New York will move into a new office space and operate under the AMP3 brand, effective at the start of next year. The combined team of about a dozen staffers will be led by AMP3 PR cofounders Alyson Roy and Dion Roy.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. AMP3 declined to break out exact revenue figures, but FWV CEO Rick French said the firm is profitable with a projected 30% year-over-year increase in revenue. Alyson and Dion Roy do not have earn-out periods.

"I want to keep them engaged as partners," French said. "What I’ve seen over the years is so many of the people who sell are counting down the days on their earn-out. You see failed deals because what so many acquiring agencies can’t keep is their entrepreneurial spirit."

French added that the deal is designed to give AMP3 all the resources it needs to sustain its growth. Many firms are looking for a "dot on the map," he said, "but we take the contrarian point of view. We don’t want to stifle; we want to give them resources."

There’s nothing stipulated in the deal that would trigger a scenario where the Roys could buy back 100% of their firm, French said, but they could revisit that possibility if the deal doesn’t go according to plan. He said no client conflicts have resulted.

Alyson and Dion Roy will report to French and EVP and principal Natalie Best, who is overseeing AMP3’s integration with the rest of FWV’s portfolio agencies: pet and veterinary PR shop FWV Fetching; Hispanic marketing agency RGAA PR; and Prix Productions, which specializes in long-form content and documentaries.

French added via email that New York-based RGAA could share office space with AMP3, but there are no plans to merge the agencies because they have different focus areas.

FWV and AMP3 are pitching as a combined entity for new business, but French declined to name the prospective clients because of non-disclosure agreements.

FWV's revenue was up 8% last year to $25.2 million. 

Stevens Group and its principals, Art Stevens and Rich Jachetti, helped to arrange the deal.

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