College Group acquires Russian agency Shared Value

College Group has acquired Russia and CIS investor relations specialist Shared Value in the third large-scale acquisition since its private equity cash injection in 2010.

Global focus: College Hill’s Russia team will expand
Global focus: College Hill’s Russia team will expand

The firm has agreed terms to buy the investor relations business in Russia for an undisclosed sum.

The Shared Value team, led by Mark Walter and Galyna Kulachek, and the business’ clients will join the College Hill Capital Markets division of the group. The acquisition will see an enlarged Russia team at College Hill advising more than 25 businesses across Russia and CIS.

The acquisition is College Hill’s third in the financial PR space since private equity firm Vitruvian Partners bought a majority stake in the group in October 2010 in a deal valuing the agency at around £45m.

College Hill significantly boosted its financial PR capabilities last August with the acquisition of Merlin Financial Communications. The group also bought German-based Haubrok Investor Relations last November.

Richard Nichols, chief executive of College Group, commented: ‘Our aim is to become the leading global capital markets comms advisory firm of choice for corporations and financial institutions alike. We are continuing to seek the right talent and businesses to add to our established footprint in Europe, Africa and Asia.’Shared Value was formed in 1999 as a specialist investor and PR consultancy focused on Northern Europe, Russia and CIS with the aim of serving the capital markets needs of multi-listed high growth companies.

College Hill stated it was committed to building its business in the region, with Paul Downes, chief executive of College Hill Capital Markets, adding: ‘We have experienced a strong growth from Russia over the past couple of years and work with an increasing number of listed Russian and CIS companies.  The acquisition reflects our commitment to the markets.’

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