Still primarily a business-to-business agency, Poppe more than doubled its revenue to $24 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, according to the prospectus, issued Aug. 9. Interactive clients delivered about $7 million in revenue, up from only about $210,000 the year before.
Such startling growth mirrors the model for other interactive advertising IPOs, including CKS Group, Cupertino, Calif., which raised about $40 million in a December 1995 offering. Like Poppe, CKS doubled revenue in a 12-month period (to $23 million in '94), with interactive services generating about a third of the total.
In some ways, Poppe's story is more compelling. Unlike CKS, it has a giant client roster and organizational base to draw on, from parent Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt's primary business, ad agency Bozell Worldwide.
STOCK MARKET COOLS TO OFFERINGS
The biggest difference between Poppe and CKS appears to be timing. CKS went out during one of the most bullish IPO markets in history; Poppe will enter a market that has cooled considerably this summer.
Poppe's initial registration
didn't specify how many shares it seeks to sell or at what price. BJK&E will likely sell all the shares made available to the public, though 15% of Poppe is owned by senior managers of the agency; senior managers of Animated Systems, a recent Poppe acquisition; and senior managers of Gregory & Hoenemeyer, a firm that provides financial advisory services to BJK&E.