Envoy and Leagas renegotiate deal

Envoy Communications and Leagas Delaney have returned to the

negotiating table following a downturn of the latter's Silicon Valley

operation.



In late February, Leagas Delaney San Francisco laid off 40 of its 82

staffers in response to deep cuts in ad spending by its primarily dotcom

clientele.



Geoff Genovese, Envoy's president, said the plummeting fortunes of the

San Francisco office haven't changed his view that Leagas Delaney is an

attractive acquisition target. 'But we obviously want to be sure we're

paying a fair price,' he said.



Last November, the Toronto-based Envoy agreed to purchase Leagas Delaney

for CDNdollars 132 million. The closing was set for the end of January

but it was rescheduled until 31 March to allow the two parties time to

work out tax and financing issues.



Bruce Haines, chairman of Leagas Delaney, said the tech meltdown has

also affected the agency's interactive division, Digital Partners, which

laid off six of its 26 employees last week.



The price of Envoy's stock will also be a topic of discussion in the

negotiations. According to the original deal, Envoy was to make up part

of the price in company shares valued at CDNdollars 8. But Envoy's

shares have dropped to as low as CDNdollars 3.40 in recent trading.

Envoy would now need to pay out more than double the number of shares it

initially intended.



Genovese said this wouldn't make sense as he believes the company's

share price will recover when the stock market recovers.



Haines agreed with Genovese, adding that the two parties were looking at

ways to restructure the deal.



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