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Poppe Tyson's registration for an initial public offering serves up a high-growth story Wall Street has gobbled down before. The agency soon will find out if investors are hungry for more.

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.


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.

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