FINANCIAL LEAGUE TABLES 2001: The big squeeze - Despite the current climate of economic downturn, PRWeek's inaugural ranking of financial PR agencies working on UK-related deals shows there is room for prosperity

These are tough times for financial PR agencies. The hostile bids

and IPOs that provide some of the most lucrative work have all but dried

up and even the less high-profile agreed deals have slowed to a

trickle.



However, PRWeek's first ever ranking of financial PR agencies working on

UK-related deals shows that there remains room for new outfits to

prosper despite the difficult environment. This analysis is based on

PRWeek's main ranking (below), compiled by Zephus Corporate Finance,

which judges companies on deal value alone. To qualify for inclusion in

this table all deals had to be completed between 1 January 2001 and 30

September 2001, with either bidder, vendor or target being UK-based. The

types of deal include mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, MBOs, MBIs and

IBOs.



In the number one spot is Brunswick, which achieved a deal value of

£66bn. The M&A specialist worked on 86 UK-related deals in the

first nine months of the year, attaining an average deal value of £767.97m.



Its figures were boosted by its advice on one of the most valuable deals

of the year, the £13.15bn acquisition of De Beers by the DBI

Investments consortium. It also worked with Abbey National in its

defence against the now lapsed bid from Lloyds TSB, and on a number of

deals relating to BT playing down its debt, most well known of which was

the Yell buy-out. Brunswick's deal value was almost double the amount of

its nearest rival and number two in the PRWeek rankings Citigate Dewe

Rogerson who came in with £35bn. Despite this, the latter does

lead in the value of IPO work undertaken this year (see table opposite,

top right).



Following closely was Financial Dynamics at £243.2m, which attains

its number three ranking due to pure strength of deal flow. Despite

Brunswick's untroubled position at number one, when the average deal

value is calculated two other agencies in the top ten actually

outperformed Alan Parker's group during the period.



Smithfield Financial advised on just 24 deals worth a total of more than

£31bn, giving it an average deal value of more than £1.3bn.

Its figures were significantly boosted by its advisory role for De Beers

during the DBI takeover and for Billiton during its £6.7bn

acquisition by BHP.



Tavistock Communications has also been a high-value deal adviser, an

average of £878m, and is rewarded with the number five position in

the overall rankings. Its lofty position belies the fact that just over

three quarters of its deal value is provided by just one client -

Vodafone. Tavistock's link with the UK's largest company makes it the

top ranking financial PR adviser for the telecommunications industry

based on deal value.



Gavin Anderson also does well due to its work in the telecommunications

sector; however, its placement at number six in the rankings has to be

qualified. It attained a total deal value of £20.4bn during the

period, although £13.3bn of this emanated from advising on just

four deals in that sector.



Why then should this be an issue? Three of them related to advice for

Vodafone in Japanese-based transactions, with a good chunk of the work

managed out of the agency's Tokyo office. Take these out of the equation

and Gavin Anderson slips down the overall rankings by a couple of

places.



It is, though, buoyed by a strong performance in the banking, insurance

and financial services sector, with advisory roles for Scottish

Provident in its takeover by Abbey National and Gartmore Investment

Management in the State Street deal.



At number 10 Tulchan Communications has beaten many of its more

established rivals. Not bad for an agency that is still less than 18

months old. Formed in May 2000 by ex-Brunswick partner Andrew Grant,

Tulchan has advised on a number of high-profile deals in the first

three-quarters of the year, including the Woolworths demerger from

Kingfisher and the Tempus/ WPP contretemps.



Grant acknowledges it cannot yet match the larger agencies in terms of

number of deals. In fact, he and his colleagues worked on 13 compared

to, say, 143 for Financial Dynamics, 'but,' as he points out, one of the

joys of having a small market share is that 'all you can do is grow it

further.' The Tulchan tactic of working on the higher profile deals

gives it a stronger average deal value, at £297.1m, than several

others in the top ten.



Talk to the heads of financial PR agencies and they acknowledge that

deals have begun to dry up this year, with the trend becoming more

marked since 11 September. 'Things have stalled,' says Angus Maitland,

The Maitland Consultancy founder and chairman. 'Decisions have been

pushed back and we will all be fighting over a restricted deal flow in

the coming months.'



That trend is reflected in the figures. The first nine months of last

year saw 4,314 deals that would qualify for these rankings, worth a

total of £528.94bn. This year that has dropped to 3,729 deals

worth £268.35bn.



That being said, last year's Vodafone/Mannesmann deal alone was worth

£125.7bn, so 2000 was always going to be difficult to beat.



Financial PR agencies will probably be more worried that 110 IPOs in the

first three-quarters of 2001 are less than half the 228 recorded in the

same period last year. More positively, with some big listings around,

such as Friends Provident, the value of this year's deals at £10.97bn actually outstrips the £9.02bn recorded last year.



There is also some good news for those agencies with venture capitalist

clients. The number of VC deals held relatively steady this year

compared to the same period last year, while actually increasing in

value from £25.38bn to £26.53bn.



Financial Dynamics gains most of its high ranking positions across the

various tables by its sheer number of deals and its VC work is no

exception: 23 deals compared to just four for second-ranked Smithfield

Financial.



However, much of its deal value in this sector can be attributed to its

work on larger transactions for CinVen.



Tim Jackaman, chairman of the newly merged Weber Shandwick Square Mile,

is optimistic that there will be some growth in international M&A work

early next year, but remains sceptical as to whether IPOs will return

quite so quickly, even if the market bounces back. He hopes his newly

combined agency will have a stronger outlook than the numbers 20 and 21

achieved this time round by Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Square Mile,

respectively.



With Kekst & Co making its number 13 appearance in the rankings largely

on the back of its work for the American institutions on the Yell deal,

and Biss Lancaster attaining the number 18 position solely for advising

Wanadoo on the Freeserve acquisition, next year should offer

opportunities for several agencies to jump up the rankings.



THE TOP 25 FINANCIAL PR FIRMS 2001

Rank Adviser Number of Total deal value

deals (pounds ms)

1 Brunswick 86 66,045.44

2 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 93 35,623.57

3 Financial Dynamics 143 34,780.00

4 Smithfield Financial 24 31,595.71

5 Tavistock Communications 31 27,238.40

6 Gavin Anderson & Company 33 20,483.06

7 Finsbury 34 15,806.11

8 Maitland Consultancy 44 6,369.12

9 Hudson Sandler 30 4,373.82

10 Tulchan Communications 13 3,862.30

11 Bell Pottinger Financial 22 3,554.50

12 Merlin Financial Communications 41 3,295.88

13 Kekst and Company 2 3,159.76

14 Penrose Financial 29 2,954.23

15 Cardew & Co 19 2,947.82

16 College Hill Associates 87 1,970.21

17 Hogarth Partnership 20 1,744.29

18 Biss Lancaster 1 1,647.83

19 Buchanan Communications 102 1,218.39

20 Weber Shandwick Worldwide 19 1,084.75

21 Square Mile BSMG Worldwide 56 1,003.82

22 Bankside Consultants 13 981.07

23 Holborn Public Relations 25 819.50

24 GCI Financial Group 23 815.09

25 Grandfield Communications 9 547.91

Agencies ranked by deal value. Criteria: 1 Announced or completed

between 1 January 2001 to 30 September 2001 2 Either bidder, target or

vendor is UK-based 3 Deal types include mergers, acquisitions, IPOs,

MBOs, MBIs and IBOs

TOP 25 FINANCIAL PR FIRMS BY NUMBER OF DEALS

Rank Adviser Number of Total deal value

deals (pounds ms)

1 Financial Dynamics 143 34,780.00

2 Buchanan Communications 102 1,218.39

3 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 93 35,623.57

4 College Hill Associates 87 1,970.21

5 Brunswick 86 66,045.44

6 Square Mile BSMG Worldwide 56 1,003.82

7 The Maitland Consultancy 44 6,369.12

8 Merlin Financial Communications 41 3,295.88

9 Finsbury 34 15,806.11

10 Gavin Anderson & Company 33 20,483.06

11 Tavistock Communications 31 27,238.40

12 Hudson Sandler 30 4,373.82

13 Penrose Financial 29 2,954.23

14 Binns & Co Public Relations 28 234.68

15 Holborn Public Relations 25 819.5

16 Smithfield Financial 24 31,595.71

17 GCI Financial Group 23 815.09

18 Bell Pottinger Financial 22 3,554.50

19 Hogarth Partnership 20 1,744.29

20 Cardew & Co 19 2,947.82

21 Weber Shandwick Worldwide 19 1,084.75

22 Golin/Harris Ludgate 14 187.85

23 Tulchan Communications 13 3,862.30

24 Bankside Consultants 13 981.07

25 Millham Communications 12 59.28

Criteria: 1 Announced or completed between 1 January 2001-30 September

2001 2 Either bidder, target or vendor is UK-based 3 Deal types include

mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, MBOs, MBIs and IBOs

TOP 10 FINANCIAL PR FIRMS ACTING ON VC DEALS

Rank Adviser Number of Total deal value

deals (pounds ms)

1 Financial Dynamics 23 8,099.69

2 Smithfield Financial 4 3,649.59

3 Penrose Financial 21 2,472.09

4 Brunswick 5 2,307.66

5 Hudson Sandler 5 2,174.02

6 Gavin Anderson & Company 5 2,156.88

7 Kekst and Company 1 2,137.73

8 Hogarth Partnership 3 1,088.63

9 Bankside Consultants 2 918.58

10 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 11 910.73

Criteria: 1 Announced or completed between 1 January 2001-30 September

2001 2 Either bidder, target or vendor is UK-based 3 Deal types include

mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, MBOs, MBIs, IBOs

TOP 10 FINANCIAL PR FIRMS ACTING ON IPOS

Rank Adviser Number of Total deal value

deals (pounds ms)

1 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 2 6,588.68

2 Bell Pottinger Financial 2 2,000.54

3 Financial Dynamics 6 1,266.68

4 Grandfield Communications 1 322.51

5 Buchanan Communications 10 47.82

6 Tulchan Communications 2 41.63

7 Square Mile BSMG Worldwide 6 29.43

8 College Hill Associates 6 21

9 Redleaf Communications 1 18.48

10 Bankside Consultants 1 7.99

Criteria: 1 Announced or completed between 1 January 2001-30 September

2001 2 Either bidder, target or vendor is UK-based 3 Deal types include

mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, MBOs, MBIs, IBOs

HOSTILE BIDS INVOLVING UK COMPANIES IN 2001

Announce Target Target's Bidder Bidder's financial

Date financial PR PR

31/1/01 Abbey National Bell Pottinger Lloyds TSB Finsbury in

Financial, Grp conjunction with

Brunswick Citigate Dewe

Rogerson

26/4/01 Barrett

Resources In-house Royal Dutch/ In-house PR

Shell Group

4/6/01 Wolverhampton

& Dudley Hudson Sandler Silverhoney Bell Pottinger

Breweries Financial

15/1/01 Bryant Group Financial Taylor Citigate Dewe

Dynamics Woodrow Rogerson

20/8/01 Tempus Group Tulchan Comms WPP Group Buchanan

Communications

4/7/01 Asda

Property

Holdings Finsbury BL Davidson City Profile Group

7/4/01 Groucho Club None used Zoo Hotels None used

14/3/01 H Young Weber Lakefield None used

Holdings Shandwick Hldng

W'wide

27/6/01 Claims Direct Golin/Harris Barker Binns & Co PR

Ludgate Securities

7/6/01 Tay Homes Rawlings Country & Buchanan

Financial PR Metro Grp Communications

15/8/01 TBI Buchanan Vinci SA Financial Dynamics

Communi-

cations

Announce Value Outcome

Date (pounds

ms)

31/1/01 19,770 The offer lapsed following referral to the Competition

Commission

26/4/01 1,655 The offer failed following a white knight bid from

Williams Companies

4/6/01 997 The offer failled following lack of acceptances from

Wolverhampton shareholders

15/1/01 522 The offer was successful after Taylor Woodrow

increased its original offer

20/8/01 385 The offer became recommended following the withdrawal

of Havas. The outcome is still pending

4/7/01 231.7 The offer was successful following Asda Property

board's decision to reverse their earlier position and

accept the offer

7/4/01 16 The offer failed following rejection by Groucho Club

shareholders

14/3/01 14.3 The offer was successful following the Lakefield's

board decision to reverse their earlier position and

accept the offer

27/6/01 11.1 The offer was successful following the Claims Direct

board's decision to reverse their earlier position and

accept the offer

7/6/01 N/A The offer was never formally launched, although the

indicative offer by C&M led to a bitter war of words

between the two parties

15/8/01 425.5 TBI launched a hostile offer for Vinci, despite the

bid being later recommended by the TBI board. The

offer lapsed due to a lack of sufficient acceptance

level by TBI shareholders



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.