Ogilvy Buys Feinstein

The wave of consolidation so prevalent in advertising is overtaking public relations as well, with Feinstein Kean Partners agreeing to a buyout by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Cone holding talks with suitors.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Feinstein Kean, which specializes in media and investor relations for pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, will be acquired by Ogilvy PR in a deal valued at $8-10 million, sources said. Feinstein Kean has 70-80 staffers and has worked for AutoImmune, Biostar, ImmunoGen and Xerox Adaptive Technologies.
The acquisition will likely be announced this week, with Feinstein Kean operating as a unit of Ogilvy PR’s health and medical practice, sources said.
The deal will be financed with cash and publicly traded stock issued by WPP Group, the London-based parent of Ogilvy PR, sources said. Executives at Feinstein Kean and Ogilvy PR in New York did not return calls.
Feinstein Kean was founded in 1987 by chairman Peter Feinstein, who previously held posts at HBM/
Creamer, a precursor agency of Boston-based Arnold Communications. It was unclear how ownership is divided at Feinstein Kean, but Feinstein and partner Marcia Kean will likely stay on to run the firm, a source said.
Driving the deal is WPP’s desire not to be “squeezed out” of the market by rival networks Omnicom, Interpublic and Snyder Communications, each of which own sizable shops in Boston, said a source close to the deal. Feinstein Kean was judged best because of the synergies with Ogilvy PR’s medical practice, sources said.
The next PR shop to sell may be 10-year-old Cone, best known for its cause-related marketing efforts for consumer accounts. Founder Carol Cone confirmed she has entertained overtures, but so far said she has not committed to anyone. “I will when it’s right,” she said.