INTERNATIONAL: F-H acquires hi-tech PR agency High Road

TORONTO: Fleishman-Hillard Canada has acquired High Road Communications, a three-year-old technology PR company that operates across North America with fees in excess of pounds 1.5 million.

TORONTO: Fleishman-Hillard Canada has acquired High Road

Communications, a three-year-old technology PR company that operates

across North America with fees in excess of pounds 1.5 million.



Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will maintain separate

identities for trading purposes. Clients of both companies have been

informed and only one client conflict has been identified.



Fleishman-Hillard represents telecommunications network Nortel, while

High Road is retained by its main rival, Lucent. Both agencies expect to

be able to retain these clients by keeping the businesses apart, while

still handling them within the Omnicom holding company.



Linda Smith, who heads Fleishman-Hillard operations in Canada, pointed

to High Road’s technology base as something from which the world’s fifth

largest PR company wished to benefit.



’Ottawa, one of Canada’s hottest technology corridors boasts around

1,000 hi-tech companies so we feel this is a win-win situation,’ she

said.



Last year Fleishman-Hillard bought Upstart, a California-based hi-tech

agency, as the first part of its plan to expand into the sector by

acquisition.



Rick Doyon, High Road’s managing partner, said he hoped the merger would

provide greater opportunities for his staff and that the firm would

attract a greater number of clients who believe ’that geographic borders

are irrelevant in today’s technology world.’



It is not yet clear whether Fleishman-Hillard with 50 people in Canada,

or High Road, with 26, intend to expand their staff lists in the

country, though there are no plans to open new offices outside the two

firms’ Ottawa and Toronto bases.



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