The six-year-old Gresham brand will disappear as part of the deal. Smithfield will gain the agency’s client list, comprising two fully listed companies and seven AIM-listed firms, including internet provider Telecom Plus, contractor Worthington Nicholls and mining company Central China Goldfields.
Gresham MD Neil Boom said he felt the time was right to merge his agency with a larger firm. He becomes a director at Smithfield, working under co-founders John Antcliffe and John Kiely.
‘While it is considerably larger than Gresham, Smithfield retains the intimacy and commitment of an independent, growing business,’ said Boom.
Smithfield director Reg Hoare said the agency has had a busy first half of 2007, advising The Boots Pension Trustees, Akzo Nobel, and Arsenal FC.
PRWeek tipped Smithfield to advise Arsenal in April this year as potential buyers circle the club. Smithfield is PR adviser to Rothschild, which is Arsenal’s financial adviser (PRWeek, 27 April).
Last year, Gresham won an account with Netb2b2 to attract more institutional investors to the AIM-listed shell.