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DUBLIN -- Cordiant Communications Group has acquired the Dublin-based PR agency Gallagher & Kelly (G&K) in a deal worth $15 million, the highest ever recorded price an Irish PR shop.

The agency will form part of Cordiant subsidiary Business Communications International, while operating independently under its own name.

The upfront payment from Cordiant in the all-shares deal is $10 million. There are no restrictions on the shares being issued, leaving the sellers free to trade shares for cash once a final deal is agreed to.

A further $5 million in shares will be paid if the Irish agency meets certain profit targets between April and December 2003.

G&K's client-base includes Coca-Cola Co., Microsoft Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Bank of Ireland, Eircom, Aer Rianta and Eircell. -- Gerard O'Dwyer

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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