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(April 12, 2001) -- As expected, Havas Advertising, Paris, bought McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., from troubled parent MarchFirst.

The McKinney acquisition comes as MarchFirst reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today. A representative for Internet consultancy did not return calls for comment. Earlier today the Nasdaq halted trading of MarchFirst stock. Its shares closed at 31 cents Wednesday, down from a 52-week high of $30.12.

McKinney will retain its name and be housed under Havas' Arnold Worldwide Partners network. In the U.S., McKinney's sibling agencies will be Arnold Worldwide, Boston, and Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, New York.

McKinney CEO Don Maurer said, "What this gives us is tremendous access to global resources through the Arnold network."

The agency's management will report to Arnold Chairman-CEO Ed Eskandarian. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Also today, Divine Inc. closed its acquisition of select MarchFirst offices and assets. On Wednesday, the Salt Lake City office of MarchFirst announced its buyout from the ailing holding company. The 40-plus person marketing agency was renamed boede&partners. -- Laura Petrecca

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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