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Publicis acquires legendary Wall Street PR agency Kekst

NEW YORK - Publicis Groupe has acquired the US financial PR agency Kekst and Company, in a deal reputed to be worth over $100m.

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Kekst is more used to advising its clients on such announcements, having worked on more than 3,000 deals since it was set up in 1970, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Under the ownership of Publicis, the New York-based agency will continue to operate autonomously under the Kekst name as a member of Publicis' specialised agencies and marketing services division. Founder Gershon Kekst will continue in his role as chief executive.

Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of Publicis, said: "Kekst and Company is the premier strategic and financial public relations firm in the world with a client base that is second to none.

"Its well-earned reputation reflects the cumulative judgment and experience of professionals who have been at the centre of many of the most high-profile, complex business communications challenges over the past three-and-a-half decades."

Recent deals Kekst has worked on include: the Dow Jones sale to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, in which it represented the Bancroft family; the proposed IPO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co; and Coca-Cola's acquisition of Glaceau.

According to a report by Corporate Control Alert, it has worked on more M&As in the US market than any other PR agency.

As well as handling mergers and acquisitions, Kekst is known for its crisis management skills, litigation support and work on bankruptcies and restructuring.

Gershon Kekst said: "We have high expectations for this combination as it will preserve the best characteristics of our firm and its culture, while offering us opportunities to grow with the support of a well respected global communications partner."

Details of the deal were not revealed, but the Wall Street Journal reports it is rumoured to be between $100m and $200m.

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