MSGi Reviews Strategic Options

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Marketing Services Group Inc., New York, is reviewing its strategic options with financial adviser Goldman Sachs in an attempt to maximize shareholder value.


"Our stock is at a low partially because of our association with the Internet side of the business," said Jeremy Barbera, chairman/CEO of MSGi. "We've been punished as if we're a dot-com company, but we're not -- we're a direct marketing company."


Possible alternatives include the sale of the firm or an investment by a partner of MSGi, Barbera said.


Although nothing is definite, he said the firm is weighing all options.


"We're looking to continue to build this enterprise, but we can't necessarily do it given our current stock price," Barbera said.


Meanwhile, the firm is still working toward the integration of its Philadelphia and Boston operations with its New York office.


"The point is to have one fully integrated company known as MSGi Direct," Barbera said.


He expects the companies to be operating as one cohesive unit by May.


In November, MSGi cut back its New York staff in a move it claimed would eliminate redundancies within the organization because of the consolidation of three of its subsidiary companies -- Metro Direct, Stevens-Knox & Associates and The Coolidge Co.


Even so, Barbera said, the company plans to keep all of its current employees.
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