Brunswick drafted in by Green for support

Carlton chairman Michael Green brought in Brunswick partner Alan Parker last week in a doomed bid to prevent shareholders from forcing Green off the board of yet-to-be-formed ITV plc.

It is understood that Green brought in Parker to help persuade shareholders not to force him out of the position of chairman designate of ITV plc, the company Carlton Communications and Granada Media are to form through a merger next January.

Green made the move despite the fact that Carlton uses Finsbury, which has been the group’s retained financial PR adviser for the past five years.

Carlton confirmed that Brunswick had been hired to work alongside Finsbury last week, to give additional advice to the company’s board of directors on its proposed merger with Granada.

A Carlton spokesman added the appointment would not affect Finsbury’s position, but refused to comment on Brunswick’s exact role and whether the agency would remain a retained adviser after the merger.

Granada refused to comment on the appointment of Brunswick to advise Green, but is believed to be unhappy that Green hired somebody specifically to bolster his credibility. Granada is using its long-term financial PR adviser Citigate Dewe Rogerson.

Green was forced to relinquish the position of ITV chairman designate on Tuesday, following an ultimatum from shareholder groups led by Fidelity Investments head Anthony Bolton. Fidelity is advised by Bell Pottinger Financial.

Carlton’s last-minute appointment of Brunswick follows a similar move by Amersham, which hired the firm to advise on its £5.7bn takeover by General Electric Company (PRWeek, 17 October).

l Brunswick takes top position in PRWeek’s 2003 Financial League Tables as the firm that advised on the deals with the largest combined value between 1 September 2002 and 31 August 2003.

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