Sutton to embark on PR firm buying spree

LONDON - Former BSMG Europe chairman Tim Sutton is returning to the PR scene with a multimillion-pound war chest to fund the creation of a full-service European agency network through a mass acquisition spree.

Sutton confirmed this week he has teamed up with ex-BSMG non-executive director Ron Boschetto to launch Orpheus Group, backed by financing from an undisclosed US private equity group.

The partners are currently in discussions with a number of agencies across Europe, but are not looking to acquire in the UK as part of their initial plans.

Sutton, who left BSMG shortly after the group's merger with Weber Shandwick last year, said they are aiming to create a £30m operation with a view to becoming a top-five player in the European market within the next two years.

He said target areas cover four key hubs: southern Europe, northern Europe, eastern Europe and central Europe.

'We are establishing a significant European network but using a different business model -- we are looking at creating a European network for Europe rather than a US-owned holding company approach,' said Sutton.

On the decision to look outside the UK, he added: 'We don't see great value in terms of the firms available to buy, but that's not to say the situation won't change.'

Orpheus has also recruited former BSMG global practice president Bob Lear as a consultant, with further recruitment announcements expected soon.

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