FTI overtakes Brunswick as PR agency handling most M&A deals globally

FTI Consulting overtook Brunswick as the PR agency that handled the most M&A deals globally in the first half of 2016, although Brunswick retained the top spot by value of deals - despite that value more than halving.

M&A software firm Mergermarket reports that FTI handled 83 deals in the first six months of the year (see table, below). Although this is fewer than the 90 handled in the same period last year, FTI remains ahead of Brunswick (79) and Sard Verbinnen & Co (78).

The value of deals handled by Brunswick was $150.34bn (£114.42bn), down 57.9 per cent on the same period last year.

League table by deal count

However, when ranked by total value of deals (see table, below) Brunswick was still ahead of second-placed Sard Verbinnen, on $134.57bn (£102.42bn). FTI was fourth, with deals worth a total of $87.76bn (£66.79bn), behind Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher ($117.54bn or £89.46bn).

Mergermarket table by total value

Regional breakdown

In the US, Brunswick dropped from first to fourth in the league table by the value of deals, falling 66.7 per cent to $62.74bn (£47.75bn). First place is Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, up from second position last year, with total value of $116.22bn (£88.45bn), down 26.5 per cent on H1 2015.

Sard Verbinnen is second in the US table on $115.52bn (£87.92bn) – although this is down 20.2 per cent on H1 2015. FTI moved from eighth to third after growing the value of deals by 159.4 per cent to $62.79bn (£47.79bn).

In Europe, Brunswick maintained the top spot by value of deals in H1 ($109.36bn, or £83.23bn, a decline of 34.5 per cent), ahead of FTI (up 57.3 per cent to $77.05bn or £58.64bn). Publicis-owned CNC AG took third place after growing the value of M&A deals that it handled from just $7.91bn (£6.02bn) to $60.11bn (£45.75bn).

There was also no change at the top of the league table for the volume of deals handled in Europe. FTI was first (69) followed by Brunswick (59), Finsbury (36) and French Consultancy Image Sept, which handled 36 deals, up from 19 in H1 2015.

In the UK, FTI replaced Brunswick at the top of the list of deals handled by value as it experienced a slower decline than its rivals.

FTI handled deals worth $27.24bn (£20.73bn) in the UK, down 33.6 per cent on the same period last year. Finsbury – which in April announced a partnership with fellow WPP agency Hering Schuppener of Germany – was second on $22.07bn (£16.8bn), down 76.6 per cent. Brunswick was third, down 83.6 per cent to $20.97bn (£15.96bn).

FTI also handled the greatest number of deals by volume in the UK (40) and retained its top position. Behind it was Brunswick (34) and Finsbury (25).

In Asia-Pacific, Brunswick overtook Sard Verbinnen at the top of the table by value of M&A deals, growing 137.2 per cent to $72.62bn (£55.27bn). For the latter agency, the value of deals that it handled fell 43.2 per cent to $20.65bn (£15.72bn).

Brunswick also leads the table by volume of deals; 19, ahead of FTI (17), Wonderful Sky Financial Group (14), Edelman (12) and Sard Verbinnen (10).

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