French communications group Havas Advertising yesterday settled the price for the acquisition of Abernathy McGregor, a prominent New York financial public relations agency.

The agreed bid, trumping a rival offer from UK group Cordiant, is believed to be $40–$45 million upfront, with an earnings-related mechanism which could see the eventual figure rise to $80m over the next five years.

Founders Jim Abernathy and Jim McGregor will, it is thought, stay on for five years. The shop, which earned $20m in revenues last year, will answer to Patrick Lemarchand , North American head of Havas’ diversified agencies group.

Commented Abernathy: “As the demand in our industry for increasingly complex worldwide capabilities continues, Havas Advertising offers our firm invaluable global resources and expertise, which will in turn enable us to serve our clients even more effectively than we could have done independently”.

News source: Financial Times