Lighthouse eyes next buy

LONDON: Lighthouse Global Network appears ready to add to its rapidly expanding portfolio by acquiring public affairs consultancy GJW.

LONDON: Lighthouse Global Network appears ready to add to its rapidly expanding portfolio by acquiring public affairs consultancy GJW.

LONDON: Lighthouse Global Network appears ready to add to its

rapidly expanding portfolio by acquiring public affairs consultancy

GJW.



The talks are said to be in the preliminary stages, with few concrete

figures having been exchanged. However, a senior source at GJW confirmed

that ’there are discussions going on with Lighthouse and others. There

will be changes sooner or later.’



Both Julian Hanson-Smith, chief UK operating officer for Lighthouse, and

Amy LaBan, the firm’s Chicago-based VP for strategic relations, refused

to comment on the rumors.



GJW finance director Nigel Clarke - one of the firm’s three largest

shareholders along with chairman Wilf Weeks and chief executive Andrew

Gifford - did not deny that talks had taken place: ’We are the largest

independent in London, and people have always come to talk to us. That

has always been the case.’



The bidding for GJW Holdings, which also boasts outposts in Belgium and

Hungary, included Shandwick’s public affairs arm at an earlier

stage.



The agency was founded in 1980 by Gifford, Weeks and a third partner,

Jenny Jeger. The three sold their holdings to the Lowe group in 1987,

but bought the firm back in 1993.



Should the Lighthouse deal come to pass, GJW’s links to Financial

Dynamics, bought by Lighthouse last year (PRWeek, August 9, 1999), would

be reinforced.



The two agencies jointly set up Matrix Public Affairs in 1992.



Other recent Lighthouse purchases include IR shop Morgen-Walke (PRWeek,

January 31).



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