Frankel Backs Off On IPO Plan

Volatile Market Puts Stock Offering On Hold
CHICAGO–Frankel & Co. once again is stepping back from its previously announced intentions to become a publicly held company and has put on hold, at least through the remainder of 1998, its plan for an initial public offering of stock.
“This is no market to be public in,” Bud Frankel, chairman of the promotional marketing agency, said of the market’s recent gyrations. “It’s been clear over the last three to four months that the bloom is off the rose” for smaller, low-capitalization companies such as Frankel, he said.
The agency first announced its intent to pursue a public stock offering two years ago. Last year, it pushed back the IPO until 1998. This latest postponement “may mean delaying some plans for the future,” Frankel said. “There are lots of areas we intend to invest in and had hoped to use public money.”
The 750-employee company has shown impressive growth in recent years, with revenues up 18 percent to $78 million in 1997, making it a frequent recipient of acquisition inquiries, Frankel said.
“We’ve never made a deal, but I’ve always said if anyone comes with the right size check, we’ll play,” he said.
Frankel recently added packaged goods clients Frito-Lay and Kraft Foods and opened an office in Detroit to serve Oldsmobile.