How Big Is MDC's Deal With Attention Partners? Not Very.

Last Updated Sep 17, 2009 2:15 PM EDT

MDC Partners CEO Miles Nadal and Attention Partners chief Curtis Hougland made a big deal about their new partnership yesterday. But what do we really know about the pact? Not much, because it isn't much of a deal. In the official announcement, MDC said it was an "investment" but didn't give any numbers.

Nadal said he was looking for "the next Crispin Porter & Bogusky of PR," a worthy goal. But MDC has a real equity stake in CP+B, leading to earnout payments topping $55.2 million for Alex Bogusky et al.

What is MDC's stake in Attention? BMO Capital analyst Dan Salmon said in a note to investors that MDC now owned 51 percent of Attention -- giving Nadal a controlling stake. But, Salmon added:

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however we believe the investment does not represent a material use of cash.
And MDC has not made any filing with SEC regarding Attention, which it must do if the deal is "material." So we can conclude that, like PR itself, this new relationship has more hype around it than actual substance.