Peter Bingle leaves Bell Pottinger as group moves towards MBO

Peter Bingle has left Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, as the group moves towards completing an MBO of a number of its PR businesses.

Peter Bingle: left Bell Pottinger Public Affairs
Peter Bingle: left Bell Pottinger Public Affairs

The chairman of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs left the Chime Communications company on Friday. Bingle is understood to be launching his own consultancy, named Peter Bingle Consulting.

Chime chairman Lord Bell told PRWeek: ‘Peter Bingle is going to pursue his own affairs. He’s decided to go off and do his own thing.’

Bingle declined to comment.

While it is understood that Bingle’s departure is not a redundancy, it is expected that there will be a number of lay-offs within Bell Pottinger Group over the coming weeks as it prepares for a Lord Bell-led buyout.

In addition, Bell Pottinger Group deputy chairman Paul Bell has shifted the terms of his employment to a contracted role rather than full-term employment. Paul Bell will continue to handle Bell Pottinger’s high-profile government contracts.

Lord Bell is expected to sign an agreement to buy back Bell Pottinger by the end of May, with a circular being sent to shareholders shortly thereafter.

In an interim management statement released last Wednesday, Chime said that the main terms had been agreed for the MBO of a number of businesses in its PR division.

The businesses included in discussions are Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres, Bell Pottinger Public Relations, Bell Pottinger Middle East, Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, Chime's 60% and the 40% management stake in Pelham Bell Pottinger.

Other Chime-owned PR businesses, including Good Relations, tech agency Harvard and sports PR and marketing specialist Fast Track, are expected to remain within the group. 

UPDATE

Statement Issued by Bell Pottinger Group:

Bell Pottinger Group, the UK’s largest public relations agency, announces that Peter Bingle, Chairman of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs (‘BPPA’), is leaving the Company to pursue new interests. Peter Bingle joined Bell Pottinger Public Affairs on 12 June 2001.

Lord Bell, chairman of Chime Communications, commented: ‘Under Peter’s stewardship BPPA has become a successful and vibrant consultancy with a superb list of clients. Over the last eleven years there has never been a dull moment. I wish Peter every success in the next stage of his career. I hope that we will have the opportunity of working together in the future.’

Commenting on his decision Peter Bingle said: ‘I have had the most fantastic time over the last eleven years. BPPA has become a major force in the public affairs market and we have developed a reputation for being best in class as well as the best fun to work with.

‘All good things must come to an end, however, and now is the right time for me to pursue what I have wanted to do for some time. I have therefore decided to give up the best job in politics. During my time at BPPA there is one person who has always supported me. Tim Bell has been a great boss and a wonderful friend.’

Lord Bell added: ‘Bell Pottinger’s public affairs business continues to be a very important part of our Group. Actions by Government, whether through regulation, legislation or taxation, have a huge and growing impact upon businesses of all types. We will focus on providing the highest quality of consultancy advice to our clients on how to deal with every aspect of public policy.’

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