Finsbury beats Brunswick netting £2.1bn on five deals

WPP's financial communications outfit Finsbury has taken the lead in August's UK M&A PR adviser league, dethroning independent rival Brunswick.

founded by Roland Rudd and sold to WPP two years ago, notched up five deals worth just below £2.1bn as the Deal Watch figures reach an all-time low.

Previous high-rankers Brunswick, Financial Dynamics and Citigate Dewe Rogerson slipped down the league, leaving Finsbury, The Hogarth Partnership and Bell Pottinger Financial to take the top three places.

Finsbury had last month's biggest deal, advising Shell Oil on its completed £1.9bn acquisition of US automotive consumer products firm Pennzoil-Quaker State, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The figures, compiled exclusively for PRWeek by corporate information service Zephus, revealed the second biggest deal as the management buyout of the UK's third largest off-course bookmaker Coral Eurobet for a higher-than-expected price of £860m.

Coral's in-house PR team handled all City relations surrounding the MBO, as did HSBC's communications team for the bank's announcement it is bidding to buy Mexican financial institution Bital.

Hogarth earned its second place in the table advising private equity group CVC Capital Partners on its £330m purchase of auto services group Kwik-Fit, sold by parent group Ford.

Full service agency Beattie Media has made its Deal Watch debut working opposite Hogarth for client Kwik-Fit.

FD took fourth place with 14 deals worth £834m, largely through its work for Europe's third-largest drug maker Novartis and its takeover of Slovenia's Lek Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company.

The agency - owned by financially beleaguered Cordiant Communications, which this week is expected to announce the resignation of CEO Michael Bungey when it releases its full-year results - also handled client Land Securities, £157m sell-off of Hilton's Park Lane hotel to London & Regional Properties.

Baron Philips Associates, while not gaining a place in the M&A top ten, advised London and Regional on the deal.

Brunswick dropped to sixth place from pole position in July, advising on seven deals totalling £727m.

The group handled retained client Corus Group's £355m sale of AvestaPolarit to Finnish firm Outokumpu.

August also saw the completion of easyJet's acquisition of low-cost airline Go, formerly owned by British Airways.

DEAL WATCH AUGUST 2002 RANKING

Ranking Financial PR Company No of Deals Deal Value pounds m

1 Finsbury 5 2,096

2 Hogarth Partnership 5 968

3 Bell Pottinger Financial 7 930

4 Financial Dynamics 14 834

5 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 11 745

6 Brunswick 7 727

7 Grandfield Communications 2 426

8 The Maitland Consultancy 4 412

9 Smithfield Financial 3 403

10 Beattie Media 2 330

Source: Bureau van Dijk - ZEPHYR

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