Several Firms Show Interest in Lobbying Shop
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Several Firms Show Interest in Lobbying Shop

Several public relations entities--including holding company Omnicom—are talking to government affairs specialist Quinn Gillespie & Associates, according to a report in this week’s National Journal.

Paul Holmes

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9—Several public relations entities--including holding company Omnicom—are talking to government affairs specialist Quinn Gillespie & Associates, according to a report in this week’s National Journal. The firm has reportedly retained New York investment banking specialist AdMedia Partners to help it field offers.
 
Managing director Richard Powell said the firm had heard from four or five “credible and serious” firms. Said Powell, “We realized it was time to start listening seriously and to get background information to decide whether or not we were interested.”
 
While the mergers and acquisitions market has cooled off this year as a result of declining ad and PR revenues, some sectors are attracting interest, and the public affairs field is one—in part because of the relatively small number of quality independents in a high-margin business, and in part because PR firms are increasingly looking to provide a fully integrated offering that includes research, issues advertising, grassroots and government affairs.
 
Quinn Gillespie is particularly attractive because of the close ties between partner Ed Gillespie and the Bush administration. It was ranked in the top 10 among Washington lobbying firms for the first time last year, and has a client list that includes Coca-Cola, DaimlerChrysler, Microsoft, SBC Communications and Verizon Wireless.
 
It also has a public relations capability, led by former BSMG and Republican National Committee PR exec Virginia Hume.
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