French agency giant Publicis confirms deal to buy Frankel

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Publicis, Paris, Jan. 11 confirmed it will buy marketing services agency Frankel, Chicago, as expected. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed, but the transaction has been estimated at $170 million or more. Publicis Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy said the deal gives Frankel capital and global reach to help it grow, while Publicis gains from Frankel's "innovative and distinct brand marketing tools." The acquisition heightens Publicis' profile in the U.S. market, where the French agency giant already realizes 25% of its annual income. Mr. Levy has repeatedly said that increasing Publicis' presence in the U.S. was crucial to the future development of the group. The purchase of Frankel will raise Publicis' U.S. income by 50%, the company said. Frankel had estimated gross revenue of $95 million in 1999. Frankel founder and Chairman Bud Frankel said the decision to position his company with Publicis wasn't easy but that the entities had compatible visions. Frankel will continue to operate under its own name and existing management, and will be autonomous from Publicis' other U.S. holdings, which include Publicis, Publicis Dialog, Publicis & Hal Riney, Publicis Technology and Burrell Communications Group.

Copyright January 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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