Two City PR shops aid De Beers bid for private status

Two UK City PR firms have been enlisted to provide financial PR support surrounding the pounds 12bn plans to bring diamond giant De Beers back into the private arena.

Two UK City PR firms have been enlisted to provide financial PR support surrounding the pounds 12bn plans to bring diamond giant De Beers back into the private arena.

Smithfield Financial and Brunswick have been hired to help sway investors to back the deal - which is set to be one of the world's largest leveraged buy-outs.

De Beers, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, has appointed the Smithfield team in London and South Africa.

Meanwhile, Brunswick is acting for DB Investments - the consortium set up to buy De Beers - formed by UK-listed mining company Anglo-American, the Oppenheimer family's holding firm Central Holdings and Botswana government-owned firm Debswana Diamond Company.

Smithfield chairman John Antcliffe and director John Kiely will lead the eight-strong account team, which is split between the UK and South Africa. They report to De Beers director of corporate affairs Rory More O'Ferrall. At Brunswick, chairman Alan Parker will lead the account in its London and South Africa offices.

Both agencies are working on a general IR and financial PR remit, with a particular brief to help win support from the 75 per cent majority of shareholders needed to okay the deal.

Under the agreed pounds 12bn bid to buy De Beers, shareholders have been offered a cash-and-shares package worth pounds 30 per share. While this represents a significant increase on the average share price, investors remain divided over the deal.



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