Haywood on hunt for merger partner at Issues Analysis

Issues Analysis, the strategic PR firm founded by former IPR president Roger Haywood, is on the hunt for a merger partner just 18 months after its launch.

The niche City-based firm has been led by Haywood since his departure from the presidency of global network Worldcom last spring (PRWeek, 13 April 2001).

He had run Worldcom's UK arm, Kestrel, for nine years since forerunner Kestrel Communications' acquisition of the then Roger Haywood Associates.

Haywood's firm has had what he termed a 'difficult' six months as its two biggest clients have axed their PR budgets.

The first was Compaq, which shelved all PR operations when it was taken over by Hewlett Packard.

Following this, Dutch telecoms giant KPN - which has been put in administration - wound up its satellite technology arm Xantic, which was Issues Analysis's second biggest fee payer.

'One option for us is to build up the firm to critical mass but that may take five years and is too slow and too painful. I'm not looking for a premium, but I am looking for a bigger consultancy or a parallel firm to merge with,' Haywood said.

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