Budget airline EasyJet has appointed Grandfield to handle PR for
its proposed flotation on the London Stock Exchange later this year.
From an initial list of ten agencies, Grandfield was shortlisted, along
with College Hill Associates and Finsbury, before EasyJet chairman
Stelios Haji-Ioannou made the final decision on the appointment. It is
the first time the company has used an external PR firm.
Investment banks DLJ and UBS Warburg are advising on the float, which is
valued at around pounds 600 million. It has not yet been decided if
retail investors will be heavily targeted for the IPO.
Haji-Ioannou has a high public profile, appearing in advertisements for
his other brands which include internet cafe chain EasyEverything and
car rental company EasyRentacar.
Charles Cook, chief executive of Grandfield said: ’Stelios is already
well-known, but investors need to know the core management team. Our
prime task will be in marketing the airline’s CEO Ray Webster and
financial director Chris Walton to the financial community.’
Cook will lead the account, reporting to Toby Nicol, EasyJet’s PR
manager, who joined the airline from BSMG Worldwide last year, where he
worked on the British Midland account. Regarding the decision to appoint
an agency for the first time, Nicol said: ’We’re not experts in this
field, so we decided to appoint people who are.’
Grandfield is working on a project basis at present, for the period
through to post-flotation. But Cook said Grandfield ’sees the IPO
project as the beginning of a long-term relationship with a group which
is at the forefront of improving consumer service in the UK.’
Meanwhile, Haji-Ioannou has plans to launch an on-line financial
services company, EasyMoney, and it has been reported that there are
plans to float the EasyEverything chain next year.
EasyJet, based at Luton airport, was founded in 1995 and now operates
routes to 25 UK and European destinations. It aims to fly 5.5 million
passengers by the end of its financial year in September.
Over 70 per cent of the airline’s bookings are made over the
The company is currently involved in a campaign to stop Luton airport
from increasing landing fees.