Mark Penn
Mark Penn

Stagwell Group chief Mark Penn is negotiating to assume the helm of MDC Partners and take an investment stake in the troubled ad/PR firm, according to the Wall Street Journal.

MDC, which faces a proxy fight at its June 4 shareholder meeting, has been conducting a strategic review.

The firm, which is the parent of Hunter, Allison+Partners, KWT Global and Sloane & Co., lost $36.2M during the nine-month ended September period on $1.1B in revenues.

It has long-term debt of $987M.

MDC CEO Scott Kauffman announced in September that he plans to step down once a successor is named.

Penn, former pollster for Bill and Hillary Clinton, ex-Burson Marsteller CEO and Microsoft chief strategy officer, had earlier tried to buy MDC with Apollo Global Management, according to the WSJ.

Stagwell's holdings include Finn Partners and SDKKnickerbocker.