Initiated Deal to Buy Entertainment Shop
BOSTON–Larry Weber is playing a key role in McCann-Erickson WorldGroup’s quest to acquire Los Angeles-based public relations firm PMK, said sources close to the negotiations.
The chairman and chief executive of McCann unit Weber Public Relations Worldwide in Cambridge, Mass., first met with PMK president Pat Kingsley nearly two years ago, and current negotiations could result in an agreement within the next few weeks, sources said.
A McCann representative confirmed that discussions are ongoing but would not provided a time table for the acquisition’s completion. Weber declined comment.
PMK is considered one of the premier shops specializing in the entertainment and media industry. It has helped create publicity programs for some of the biggest names in movies and television, including box-office titan Tom Cruise.
McCann parent Interpublic Group of Cos. already owns talent agency Industry Entertainment but has no plans to merge PMK’s operations–which include 40 staffers in its Los Angeles and New York offices–with any of its existing holdings, according to sources.
In fact, the need for multiple agencies in specific service areas to avoid possible client conflicts is driving the deal, sources said. It is likely that once the acquisition is done, PMK will retain its identity and current management will remain in place, sources said.
Weber has spearheaded a recent buying spree that in October saw IPG acquire International Public Relations, the parent company of the Golin/Harris and Shandwick public relations agency networks.
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