NEW YORK -- Ruder & Finn Inc., of New York and Harshe-Rotman & Druck, Inc. of Chicago Monday announced they have concluded an agreement to merge on Jan. 1.
A Ruder spokesman said details of the agreement between the two privately-held public relations companies, including stock arrangements, will be worked out within the next week.
They said the new firm, to be called Ruder Finn & Rotman Inc. will be headed by David Finn as chairman and chief executive officer and Morris B. Rotman as president and chief operating officer.
The two companies will merge their regional U.S. offices and conduct business worldwide through the international partnership organized by Ruder last year.
Ruder currently is the largest U.S. public relaions firm not owned by an advertising agency, with 1980 billings of $9.6 million. Harshe-Rotman is the nation's third largest independent public relations firm with 1980 billings of $6.5 million.
'They have signed a four-page letter of agreement outlining the basic rational behind the merger,' the Ruder spokesman said. 'They have not discussed or reached any conclusions about the board of directors, or how the merging of the domestic offices will be carried out. The next step is designating an executive committee, forming a board of directors, and working out whatever stock arrangements are necessary. Details are to be worked out within the next week.'
The spokesman said the companies announced the merger agreement a week in advance because 'they were tired of getting phone calls about rumors, they wanted to let people know they were indeed merging.'
He said clients of both firms have been contacted and 'no conflict in clients was found, a minor miracle.'
'Our combined resources can deliver the strengths of the country's largest group of professionals who are dedicated to public relations as a distinct function which stands on its own, rather than as an adjunct to advertising,' said Finn and Rotman in a joint statement.
'We believe the future of public relations will be enhanced by a dedication to this principle and that this merger will help establish the foundation for significant growth on the part of independent firms all over the country.'
Ruder and Harshe-Rotman both have offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Ruder, which also has a Toronto office, last year established an international partnership unit, with 13 separate agencies in 13 countries being individual partners. Harshe-Rotman has London and Paris offices.
Combined the two companies have 167 clients, three fourths of which are publicly held corporations.
The new company, in addition to providing broad public relations services, will expand existing subsidiary operations in research, fine arts, design, marketing, sales promotion, broadcast communications, radio and television, field network, and production, including printing, direct mail and photography, the two firms said.