Havas Agrees To Buy McKinney & Silver

ATLANTA — Havas Advertising has reached an agreement to purchase McKinney & Silver. Though Janet Northern, agency director of communications, said that there’s “nothing official,” other sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Paris-based Havas has successfully concluded negotiations with marchFirst, which is the Raleigh, N.C. shop’s troubled parent.

The official announcement is expected next week.

Ed Eskandarian, Havas’ board member and chief executive officer of Havas’ Boston-based Arnold network was point man on the negotiations, along with McKinney chief executive officer, Don Maurer.

A purchase price has not been disclosed, but sources familiar with McKinney suggest $20-25 million would represent fair market value based upon the shop’s $26 million in revenues last year. The price may have been lower, sources said, given marchFirst’s need for ready cash and Eskendarian’s reputation for driving a tough bargain.

McKinney will remain a separate entity, sources said, under the Havas umbrella.

Neither Eskandarian nor R. John Cooper, evp Havas North America, have returned calls.