Young & Rubicam shares were among the most actively traded on Wall Street last week as the market headed into the Thanksgiving holiday. The heavy volume came in the wake of a secondary offering of roughly 10 million shares held mostly by agency senior management and San Francisco venture capital firm Hellman & Friedman Partners.
The advertising agency network went public in May, opening at $25 per share. The secondary offering opened at $29.50. Y&R shares closed Wednesday at $30. Among the sellers were Mitchell Kurz, outgoing vice chairman and chief client officer of Y&R Advertising; John McGarry Jr., president of Y&R; Fernan Montero, former chairman/CEO of Y&R Advertising Europe; and Alan Sheldon, vice chairman and managing director, Y&R. November was insiders' first chance to sell shares.
Some 16.6 million shares were sold to the public in May; the 10 million extra shares put roughly 40 percent of Y&R in circulation, making it easier for would-be buyers to purchase it.
WPP Group Chairman Martin Sorrell, long-rumored to be interested in acquiring Y&R as a third network, declined to comment on the offering.