American energy giant Amerada Hess has drafted in City PR firm The Maitland Consultancy to handle PR surrounding its pounds 2.4 billion takeover of Lasmo - the UK's second largest oil exploration and production company.
The agency was brought in to deal with all UK media relations as Hess' friendly bid reached advanced stages.
Maitland was appointed following recommendations from investment bank Goldman Sachs, which is acting for Hess.
Maitland director William Clutterbuck will head a team of four on the project, reporting to Hess chairman and CEO John Hess, who is currently in the UK overseeing the takeover.
'The strategy is to get a good understanding of not only Amerada Hess' strategy but also the range of its operations around the world and the value that will be created by the combination of both businesses,' said Clutterbuck.
Lasmo retains financial PR agency Brunswick. The cash-and-shares deal comes after talks between Lasmo and other oil companies on the disposal of assets failed.
Lasmo, which has oil interests in Venezuela, the UK, Algeria and Pakistan, attempted to merge with Enterprise Oil last year.
For Hess, the deal will strengthen its exploration capabilities and provide it with long-life international projects rather than low-profit refining and marketing operations.