Smithfield takes on international PR job for Henkel

Henkel, the German cosmetics, haircare and solvent group behind the Schwarzkopf and Loctite brands, has appointed Smithfield PR to handle a global financial comms push as the company plans an aggressive expansion.

The company, which also makes Sellotape, brought in the agency last week to handle financial communications to international investors.

Smithfield managing director Andrew Hey is leading Henkel’s first global financial comms account, believed to be worth around £70,000 a year.

Hey reports to Henkel global head of financial communications Lars Witteck and global head of communications Ernst Primosch.

Henkel’s corporate and financial comms drive will be aimed at investors and financial publications in the world’s financial centres, but is likely to have a particularly strong focus on the US, where Henkel is in the process of buying Dial Corporation, the manufacturer of US soap powder Purex. The £1.5bn acquisition of Dial will give Henkel a significant foothold in the US and expand business by a third.

It is believed that Dial’s acquisition, which is due to close later this month, will be followed by further takeovers.

Henkel reported 2003 sales of £6.3bn and an operating profit of £475m.

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