Abernathy MacGregor
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Abernathy MacGregor

The arena in which Abernathy MacGregor operates, the arena of mergers and acquisitions and restructurings, is becoming increasingly global.

Holmes Report

The arena in which Abernathy MacGregor operates, the arena of mergers and acquisitions and restructurings, is becoming increasingly global. Two years ago, Abernathy could count its competitors—established firms like Kekst and relative newcomers like Sard Verbinnen—on the fingers of one hand, but today it faces new challengers: not only U.K. specialists like Brunswick and Financial Dynamics that are seeking an entrée into the U.S. market, but also larger agencies who believe their global presence partially compensates for their lack of specific expertise.
 
At the end of 2000, Abernathy MacGregor took the first step to position itself for increased competition when it sold to Havas, the world’s fourth largest communications holding company. In mid 2001, it formed a new joint venture company with the Maitland Consultancy in London (one of the best respected financial communications firms in that market) and Omnium in France. While maintaining its own identity for domestic work, Abernathy will work under the AMO brand to offer seamless cross-border financial communications, with the Alcatel-Lucent deal as its first major client.
 
While the number of IPOs declined substantially, the mergers and acquisitions market remained healthy in 2001, as did the restructurings business, and Abernathy ended the year up substantially (the firm does not make revenue numbers public). Some observers had worried that the departure two years ago of M&A maven Joele Frank (to set up her own shop) would hurt the firm’s standing in that sector, but it demonstrated the depth of its expertise with assignments in some of the biggest deals of the year, from Comcast’s unsolicited proposal for ATT Broadband to American Airlines’ acquisition of TWA, from the merger of Wachovia and First Union to Yahoo!’s unsolicited proposal for HotJobs. The agency handled the Aramark IPO and crisis management work included post-9/11 projects for Swiss Re and Sandler O’Neil.
 
Anticipating increased activity in the global financial markets and a rebound of its IPO business, Abernathy MacGregor is looking forward to more healthy growth in 2002.
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