Y&R is 100%-owned by employees, with longtime senior managers holding in some cases relatively large stakes. When such shareholders are ready to cash out, there aren't always enough other shareholders willing to buy their stakes. In those cases, a company has to buy out the shares and may need to raise money to do so.
A Y&R executive dismissed speculation the agency is considering an initial public offering or a sale to a corporate owner. Industry observers agreed an IPO would run against Y&R's corporate culture.
Separately, Y&R insiders, as well as real estate executives, said the company would like to consolidate its various New York offices. Y&R owns its headquarters, but subsidiaries-including Burson-Marsteller, Wunderman Cato Johnson and Sudler & Hennessey-are spread among four or five buildings in the city.
Contributing: Pat Sloan.