Res Publica, the parent company of National Public Relations, and Vision 7, the owner of Cossette, are in the midst of merger talks, according to a story published this week in Argent, Canoe.ca’s French-language online business magazine.
Sources linked to the merger told Argent that Res Publica is the frontrunner among candidates that have shown interest in acquiring Vision 7/Cossette.
Several Canadian and international businesses have declared interest since Vision 7’s majority shareholder, Greenwich, Conn.-based investment fund Mill Road Capital, put its stake up for sale in July, “to explore different strategic avenues for North American business assets.”
According to Argent, a union between the two companies would be valued between $100 million and $200 million. The article said spokespeople for Vision 7 and Res Publica wouldn’t confirm or deny the rumors, since talks were ongoing.
An anonymous industry source told Argent that he suspects Res Publica has been developing a long term strategy for months.
Launched 1972 when six partners bought a Quebec City design firm, Cossette expanded to Montreal and beyond Quebec before going public in 1999. The company was taken private again in 2009 after a protracted legal fight between two long time leaders Francois Duffar and Claude Lessard in which Lessard emerged victorious with the backing of Mill Road.
In 2010, the company was restructured with Vision7 International created as the umbrella company for Cossette as well as Espirit de Corps (EDC).