APCO Regains Independence From Grey

NEW YORK Global communications and public affairs consultancy APCO has completed its buyback from Grey Global Group, the companies said.

APCO partnered with The WindRiver Group, a merchant bank, that guided the buyback, the terms of which were undisclosed. Grey had owned the Washington, D.C.-based APCO since 1991.

In a statement, APCO CEO and founder Margery Kraus said of the transaction, “We begin our 20th year in business with an important step in building a successful firm for the next 20 years. We are broadening ownership opportunities for management and employees by creating a new structure more typical of a professional services firm. Clients can expect no change in the high level of service they receive from APCO.”

Established in 1984, APCO has about 400 employees in 24 offices around the world. The company’s senior consultants include government and business leaders, journalists and ambassadors.

WindRiver director Ron Boschetto said in a statement, “We are very pleased to be partnering with APCO. It is rare to find a consultancy with such a breadth of highly skilled staff and depth of talent and expertise across so many industries around the world. We have great confidence in the management of the company and look forward to helping them rapidly expand their business to become a dominant force in their principal markets.”

Grey Global Group is in the process of being acquired by WPP Group, which owns advertising agencies such as Young & Rubicam, Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson and Berlin Cameron/Red Cell.

“It has been a pleasure to watch APCO grow over the past 13 years, and the company’s future is filled with potential,” said Grey Global chairman and CEO Ed Meyer in a statement. “Grey will continue to partner with APCO on projects of mutual benefit, and I look forward to the company’s continued success.”