Omnicom is buying A Plus, the hi-tech agency it bought a 20 per
cent stake in 18 months ago.
Strategically, the deal will create the world’s largest technology PR
group with A Plus linking with Omnicom’s US hi-tech agencies Brodeur
Porter Novelli and Copithorne Bellows. The agency grouping will employ a
total of 250 people in the US and 300 in Europe.
However, it is believed that A Plus has sought and received assurances
that it will retain its own identity.
The four A Plus directors who hold the 80 per cent of the agency that
Omnicom has not already bought, group managing director Mike Copland,
managing director Jonathan Simnett, and directors David Currer and Stan
Woods, will stay with A Plus on an earn-out basis.
A Plus had a turnover of almost pounds 4 million last year. It has seven
agencies in Europe and PR firms in Israel, the Middle East and South
Africa. It has also established a presence in Asia with a Hong Kong
office and sees the Omnicom deal as a way of being able to serve
clients, such as IBM, on a global basis.
The purchase of A Plus is the latest in a string of PR acquisitions for
Omnicom. It bought Fleishman-Hillard in April, Ketchum in January 1996
and Smythe Dorward Lambert in October 1996.
Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services’ president Michael Burkin was not
available to comment when PR Week went to press.