Cohn & Wolfe buys French agency Kendo

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PARIS--Young & Rubicam-owned public relations agency Cohn & Wolfe has bought independent French corporate agency Kendo, Paris, formerly controlled by Havas Advertising, Paris.

The buy-out, which concerns 100% of the agency founded by Lionel Brault and Yves Desailly, will increase Cohn & Wolfe's profile in the French market. Kendo handles institutional advertising for clients including national utility Electricite de France, railroad SNCF and several government ministries. It registered gross income topping $3 million in 1999.

Kendo's two founders will maintain day-to-day management control over the agency and will also assume posts on Cohn & Wolfe's European management board.

U.K.-based WPP Group, which is acquiring Y&R, has made a string of French acquisitions since early 1999.

WPP bought a 30% stake in marketing services firm High Co. in late 1999. That deal, estimated at $10 million, came on the heels of WPP's acquisition of interactive agency Mediaquest, Paris, and the relaunch of traditional advertising agency Conquest France with local managers poached from Leo Burnett France.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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